U.S. millionaire eager to protect agriculture

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.”

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