Animal rights extremists have set a tone that endangers rural America and the Western way of life.
Forest Lucas doesn’t like it.
Lucas, president and CEO of Lucas Oil Products, is ready to fight the extremism by shedding light on the truths involving animal welfare. That’s why he created Protect The Harvest, which was developed to defend families, farmers, ranchers, sportsmen and animal owners from the growing threat of the radical animal rights movement.
“When I was raised, no one was allowed to steal or lie,” Lucas told Cord McCoy on the Sept. 23 episode of “The Ride with Cord McCoy,” which airs at noon and 10 p.m. Eastern time Mondays on RFD-TV. “I still live that way. I don’t like liars and thieves, and these animal rights people are liars and thieves. They’re taking people’s money that think they’re giving to real animal welfare, and it’s not being used for animal welfare.”
Lucas is passionate about the cause, and he’s putting up his own money to promote it. A farm-raised man who grew up poor and worked as a long-haul trucker before creating the oil empire, Lucas realizes he has a means to make a difference – the company has the naming rights to Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, and is heavily involved in auto racing.
“There’s a lot of people going to come to my side, but right now we’re able to fund the thing ourselves,” he said, noting that Protect The Harvest is a division of Lucas Oil. “I feel so blessed that I can do this because this is the most important thing in the world to me right now. Something has to be done, and nobody else is going to do it.”
Protect The Harvest utilizes proven techniques and Lucas Oil resources to educate the public about animal welfare. On the show, he provided a clear-cut example during the Indiana State Fair, which took place in early August in his hometown of Indianapolis.
“It encompasses more than farming and ranching,” said Keri MacBeth, the West Coast representative for Protect The Harvest. “It touches everybody. What we did here was try to educate people in a colorful way with the meats and uses we get out of these animals.
“We also came up with a lot of additional fun facts on domestic animals.”
While extremists turn to sympathetic members of the media to spread the word, Protect The Harvest takes a grassroots campaign straight to the people so they might learn more about the differences behind animal rights and animal welfare.
“I think Protect The Harvest’s mission fits well with what our views on the agriculture industry in Indiana have been in my part of the world,” Indiana State Rep. Mark Messmer said. “It’s taken that educational process across the country, across our world. The way they approach it makes sense and works well to be able to feed a growing population.”
The episode also reveals the difference between local humane shelters and the Humane Society of the United States, which is a radical animal rights organization.
“The local humane societies are independent and not part of a national group and provide a great service to their community,” said John Eleshire, CEO of the Humane Society of Indiana. “Mr. Lucas is a prominent citizen here in Indianapolis who cares about our work and invited us here to showcase our work, independent of anything else, and to let people know there’s a difference.
“It’s all about the animals.”
McCoy, a ranch-raised cowboy from southeast Oklahoma, knows all about the importance of animals in today’s society. He raises animals, including bucking bulls, and made a name for himself as one of the top cowboys in the PBR. He spoke to fair-goers, and his comments sent a powerful message home.
“I think there’s a responsibility for us,” McCoy said. “I definitely want to pat Forest Lucas on the back for taking that first step in protecting our harvest. I want to do my part to help educate the world on our harvest and protecting it for me, my kids and, maybe someday, my grandkids.”