U.S. millionaire eager to protect agriculture

Forrest Lucas refutes claims made by animal activists

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An American multimillionaire who grew up poor on a southern Indiana farm is taking on animal rights activists.


Forrest Lucas said he is standing up to well-funded animal rights activists who want to stop animal agriculture because few people are willing to do so.


“We are punching the hell out of these guys,” Lucas said during an agriculture event at the Lucas Oil Stadium, home to the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League.


Lucas, who raises purebred black Simmental cattle in Missouri, established Protect the Harvest after a law designed to limit agriculture in Missouri was narrowly defeated four years ago.


“In the state of Missouri, they use the word ‘pet’ in the constitution,” he said.


“They want to come in and take your pets. Anything that lives within 15 feet of your house is your pet. We had to do something, and we did. When we got done with that, we realized there was no big company out there fighting these guys, and we realized we had to do something. We are trying to get everybody made knowledgeable about what we are doing. We are going to fight these guys, and that is what we are doing.”


Lucas said farmers and those who believe in agriculture need to stand up against the lies told by groups such as the Humane Society of the United States, which he claims want to ban all production agriculture.


“We don’t want anybody abusing their animals, but there are already laws for that.”


Lucas said his work ethic was formed by growing up in poverty and understanding the importance of livestock for food.


However, he said he also understands the need to have humane slaughter plants for livestock.


“I know reality,” he said.


“When I was a kid, we didn’t have electricity. That old chicken out there was an instant meal. You chopped its head off and you had an instant meal. Every fall we had to kill a pig. A lot of times I would befriend that pig before we killed it. But that is the way it had to go. 


“We milked the cows by hand. Those calves had to be sold because that’s where the money comes from. We worked horses. These are animals. We are the masters of animals. We have to take care of our animals. If you are going to get the most out of your animals, you have to take care of them, but there has to be an end for them. When that horse is no good for you anymore, it has to have a place to go.”


Lucas’s television production company is making a documentary about abandoned horses starving to death on public lands in the U.S. He wants to reintroduce horse slaughter plants in the United States to allow a better end of life for abandoned, old and unused horses.


“Our country is overfilled with horses now,” he said.


“The whole horse industry wants it fixed, but they want me to do it. They don’t want to say anything about it and we’re going to do it.”


Lucas said his documentary would raise awareness of horses starving to death and dying of thirst on federal Bureau of Land Management land and on Indian reservations.


“I am trying to bring it to everybody’s realization that we have an overpopulation problem,” he said.


“We need to reintroduce horse slaughter to stop suffering. It’s no good living when you’re starving to death.”

  • LNorman

    If Mr. Lucas wants to protect agriculture, he should go after Monsanto! Horses are not agriculture. There have already been studies done on “abandoned horses”, they are the border “rejects” that are too sick for slaughter and dumped by killbuyers. Any so-called “documentary” he comes up with, will be blown-out-of-proportion propaganda. There are at least 7-10 million cattle trampling our arid Public Lands, and they are not starving, let’s slaughter them if he’s so concerned about “hunger”. Cattle slaughter is legal in the US and cattle are raised for food. Horses are classified as companion animals by the FDA, they are our companions, athletes, and therapists. I notice Mr. Lucas didn’t mention that his family “ate” horses when he was growing up dirt poor. “We need to reintroduce horse slaughter to stop suffering”? – There is nothing more cruel you could do to a horse then sending it to slaughter, ride with them on the horrible journey and stand in line at the kill box while you hear the screams and experience the terror

    • ann fox

      Ditto to all you have said….This man want to add one more piece of suffering to an already suffering animal. Horse slaughter is NOT humane. There is money in slaughter…plain & simple….One just has to read this tripe & it is easy to see why this man is a millionaire….money is his God.I would donate to a national humane euthanization program to end the suffering of any animal, especially horses..It could be done Take the money making aspect out of horse slaughter & watch how quickly this industry disappears,

    • Marilyn

      LNorma, horse slaughter has been ended for quite some time now. There are no kill buyers anymore gathering up horses to dump. Old horses are dumped by people who can no longer afford to care for them.

      And Lynette, seriously? Get a chicken in the grocery store? Do you believe those grocery store chickens were born feather and headless?

  • sara

    So happy that someone is pursuing this. The horse industry is in bad shape. I think this is a great opportunity to show activists what they really did when they “saved” the horses. Death is never easy, and I know people have an aversion to it, but its a part of life. Its so sad to watch these animals suffer and die a long drawn out death when they could die quickly, painlessly, with full bellies.

    • Chicorey

      Exactly where is the slaughter plant located in which horses die quickly, painlessly & with full bellies? Sure doesn’t sound like any I’ve read about in Canada or Mexico. And it certainly doesn’t sound like the ones that used to be in Texas (Kaufman) & Illinois! I have to ask – have you actually gone to a horse slaughter plant & watched? Or perhaps looked at the videos – there are plenty on U-Tube & other sites. You are right in one thing – death isn’t easy – but most caring responsible horse owners call a vet & have their horse euthanized – that’s the quickest & most painless way.

    • HorseFarmGrrl

      LOL Sara, it appears you missed the memo! That old canard has finally been statistically disproven.

      The American Horse Council, and concerned vets around the country are lobbying for more breeding and tax breaks because…. yep…. there’s a horse shortage. Not enough quality animals, so prices are going up.

      You horse eaters will need to fabricate a new argument to justify your taste for eating America’s former pets and sporting partners.

    • Diana

      Horses should die quickly and painlessly with full bellies. They should be in familiar surroundings with their owner.

      This does not include shuffling them off to an auction where a kill buyer picks them up. It does not include getting put in a pen with strange horses and having to fight for a place in the pecking order to eat. It does not include getting crammed on a truck in tight quarters with horses they’ve never seen before and going for a long ride while they work out a new pecking order.

      It especially does not include pretending they are a food source safe for human consumption when they have just been sold and their drug history is unknown.

      There may have been a day when most horses were safe for human consumption, but that was long ago. Drug companies make huge profits creating drugs for equine ailments we didn’t know existed years ago, and that doesn’t even touch on the supplement business.

      Horses in this country are not raised as food animals and we have no system to identify the few animals that may be suitable.

    • Leslie

      Sara–Then if the industry is so concerned, why aren’t they reducing production? The number of horses going to slaughter across the borders annually are equal to 1% of the horse population in the U.S. The answer is not killing them. The answer is first reducing production (as most businesses did during the economic downturn when demand went down); then seeking proper re-homing or re-training of horses that aren’t making the companies (yes, they are companies) money; supporting rescues; and lastly, educating on the options to selling to a kill buyer (or at a local auction which is the same thing), and help to re-home.

      The slaughter plants in the U.S. were inhumane and environmentally a mess, and U.S. horses are not raised for food as they are in other countries. The meat is not safe for human consumption. What do you think happens to the horses rejected in Mexico and Canada? Do you think the kill buyers take them home and find them a rescue? No. They dump them at the borders to fend for themselves because they lost money on them. To starve to death. Even Temple Grandin has said there is “no humane way to kill a horse” in a slaughter house situation.

      This proposed documentary by all indications will include the Big Ag position which one of fear that cattle or pigs will be next. This man’s statements show that he hasn’t bothered to research that thousands of the abandoned horses are a result of the slaughter industry dumping the “rejects.” Do you know that 92% of all horses headed for slaughter are healthy, more often than not, rideable trained horses? The slaughter houses reject the old and infirm (if they survive the transport), It is the utmost cruelty to dump an old horse at a slaughter auction.

      If someone is in dire straits there are hundreds of rescues around the country that will assist in re-homing. I bet that won’t be in the documentary. And, if euthanization is needed, they will help with the expense if cost is a problem.

      The country is “overfilled with horses” because the horse industry won’t face the fact that they need to reduce production. Ending slaughter in this country did not increase abandonment, the financial crash of 2008 had a huge impact on people’s ability to keep their horses. The industry should be putting the millions it is spending on lobbying to promote horse slaughter into retirement farms, assisting rescues that re-home horses, assisting breeders in adjusting their operations with respect to reduced demand, and in ending backyard breeding. Further, they need to hold producers accountable for how they “dispose” of their overproduction. The AQHA is behind slaughter because that is the number one breed headed to the slaughter houses. What do you think would happen if the transport across the border to slaughter was ended? The industry would be forced to adjust because they no longer have a convenient disposal system. The last figure I saw was that about 14% of U.S. horses are rejected at the slaughter plants. That’s an estimated 20,000 horses that are left abandoned, starving and fending for themselves by the slaughter industry. Bet THAT won’t be in the “mockumentary” either.

      It is a documentary only if ALL points of view are covered. If it includes the horrors of the slaughterhouse. If the terror on the transport is included. If it includes the horrific transport accidents from overcrowded trucks. If it includes the horses trampled during transport or the ones whose bones were broken during transport being beaten down the ramp and terrified waiting in the queue to die. But no, they won’t be.

      This is a one-sided opinion from an industry that thinks banning any activities related to horse slaughter will be a “slippery slope.” It is a faulty supposition unless the cattle, pork and poultry industries are not willing to provide humane conditions for the animals. That is what HSUS wants and has been the lead organization advocating for these changes. We aren’t “crazies”. Most of us have horses of our own. I’ve had to euthanize four due to illness or physical infirmity due to age.

      The question that needs to be asked–would you send your horse to slaughter? If not, then how can you support it? And if you would, then I’m sorry that you have no compassion or feelings for the amazing companion that has served you and given its heart to you to dispose of your horse so cruelly.

  • Debbie

    Your out to lunch Mr. Lucas….. YOUR goal is to help the Welfare Ranchers.. The Wild Horses are NOT overpopulating our lands, just the opposite,,, horses are consistently being taken off the range for any excuse BLM wants to make up… THEN low and behold the cattle our on the land, mining, fracking…..

    You know IF you want to savor our Livestock Industry then do that with honor and truth, which you are NOT doing…

    HORSE SLAUGHTER will NEVER be in this country again… IT has nothing whats so ever to do with old and sick horses, this is a business that turn away such horses they are young healthy ones.. SO PLEASE tell the truth to the disgusting slaughter lies you are filling people with….

    WE ALL KNOW what’s going on and WHY…

    AND by the way we will BAN all Horse Slaughter you wait and see…

    I am so ashamed of you and others who are all screwed up with their motives and will say anything to better your purpose, your self goals…

    How sick our society has become because of greed,,, I see every single day people networking trying to save as many horses in the slaughter pipeline as they can all across this country, good healthy horses that go on to have a second chance they so deserve… JUST last week two mares and their two week old babies at Auction, kill buyer bought … Lots of networking but finally two woman got those horses & baby’s safe…. SEE pregnant ones all the time,,, IF you want to help then help educate responsible ownership,, have more gelding clinic’s, start up hay banks, do something positive… The kill buyer is setting the prices for horses,,, get rid of that you will see a huge difference in responsible ownership knowing that there is NO THROW AWAY Horse Auctions anymore… Regular people wanting to save horses at Auctions out- bided by kill buyers,,, we have never NOT had horse slaughter, nothing has changed all these years, it never will till we end it…. really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out… you lie sir,, you have your own agenda and it’s quite clear what that is…. Disgusted

  • Thomas Kirby

    Please bring back horse slaughter. The HSUS wants all those horses to starve to death to use against us.

    • HorseFarmGrrl

      LOL, what a ridiculous comment.

      It has been proven that horse slaughter does not prevent starvation or neglect. It does however enable it by incentivizing irresponsible breeding and ownership. Nice try though.

  • Lynette

    This guy is truly stuck in 1890. We don’t have to chop a chickens head off to eat. The grocery stores are too full of food as it is. His money doesn’t make him smart.

    • Sarah

      You have completely lost your mind…..where do you think the meat comes from in grocery stores???? Do you think the chicken donates it???? Those chicken wings in the grocery store just grow back??? “Grocery stores are too full of food as it is” what does that even mean? That now, we shouldn’t be allowed to raise our own food? I wouldn’t be talking about being smart if I were you.

  • Janine

    “to allow a better end of life for abandoned, old and unused horses.
” A better end? How can walking into hell, smelling death be a better end? To have a bolt gun punched into your head sometimes 4 or more times because the operator hasn’t got a clue be a better end? Animal welfare has to be a better end. Where people actually take responsibility for their animals pets or working stock. That is a better end. The man is a greedy deluded idiot. Horses are not for eating.

  • Lynn Otoole

    All those animal “rights” activists. You mean the ones that don’t think horses belong in the kill box because, unlike cattle, they don’t die quickly and easily? The “activists” who want the puppy mills closed down because the dogs live a miserable existence? The “activists” who think people don’t have the right to chain up their dogs and leave them out in a blizzard with no shelter?

    First of all, this guy needs to educate himself on the difference between animal “welfare” and animal “activists”.

    And since when did the HSUS become the bad guys? They’re a remarkable organization. Who gets attacked next, Santa Claus?

  • Lana

    This guy is an {-edited-} OR like they say ‘More money than brains’!!
    He can {-edited-} with the thoughts of starting to slaughter horses in the U.S. Also when he does the ‘study’ or documentary of all those ‘unwanted’ horses…they will get the wake up call! One thing for sure, they are not OLD & LAME other than the rejects that don’t get across to be slaughtered in Mexico. Feedlots don’t want them back, the kill buyer(trk driver) doesn’t want them….so they leave’ em to starve with the droughts in Texas on barren land. As far as anyone else abandoning animals….how about CHARGING THEM IT’S AGAINST THE LAW!!! Instead of killing the horse or whatever animals the disgusting human race failed!

    • Paul Yanko

      Let’s keep it clean and respectful of others opinions, please!

      Cheers,
      Paul – WP web ed

  • KH

    No other animal is slaughtered for Human Consumption simply because a country is “overfilled with them” ..All Other meats on the consumer market are from purpose bred & raised livestock, from a dedicated producer, and those animals are regulated and traceable through out their life to the time of slaughter..Horses are not, If beef..pork and poultry were sourced the same way..having animals of unknown origins,unknown drug/health history collected by a “kill buyer” totally at random those markets would collapse..and You know it. Horses Should not be and never should have been the exception to every food safety standard, protocol and regulation all other animals are required to comply with to provide meat for the consumer markets.

  • Karen Barker

    This article just goes to prove that even though you have money doesn’t mean you’re intelligent. Get out of the dark ages, Lucas. When we know better, we do better. There are more humane and PROACTIVE ways to deal with the current overpopulation of horses.

  • Janice

    Lynette you must be blonde. THINK. How does the food get in the store.

  • Cheryl

    OMG, I cannot believe how these activists so far removed from reality think. I suppose they also think it is ok to eat chicken wings as they will grow back. Who do they think supplies the grocery stores with the products they buy. Yes everyone seems to want organic foods but organic farmers cannot feed all of America. I admire Mr. Lucas. He lives in the real world and is not afraid to speak out. Yes his money does not make him smart but some of these responses sure make the activists appear very unintelligent.

  • Bonnie

    Thank you, Mr. Lucas. People don’t understand that stopping horse slaughter was actually bad for horses and animals in general, as are most of the other things that “animal rights” crazies say they want. I hope your documentary will help educate our overcivilized citizens who know so little about real life and real animals.

  • Zig Pope
  • Deneen

    Well said everyone. This guys is a total freakin moron! I’m sure he is in favor of slaughter to fill his fat greedy pockets. I wouldn’t doubt he has a financial interest in horse slaughter (much like his cattle interests). Wild horses have thrived for years without human intervention. The only horses dying of thirst are those held in BLM pens without shelter from the elements. How can any slaughterhouse be humane? If that is not an oxymoron, I don’t know what is! As for cruelty laws too bad they aren’t enforce and when they are offenders get a slap on the wrist. Horrific stories of abuse at dairies, farms, slaughterhouses, etc. is almost a daily event. He probably is in favor of ag-gag laws too. Lastly, if you consider an animal your “friend” you don’t kill and eat it.