Protect the Harvest
It’s no surprise that Forrest Lucas and his “Protect the Harvest” are attacking the Humane Society of the United States; they have fought nearly every common-sense animal welfare law in recent years. Protect the Harvest apparently means protecting puppy mills, factory farms, and cruelty to companion animals.
The HSUS works with family farmers who use humane and sustainable animal welfare practices, and who speak out against inhumane factory farm abuses such as the extreme confinement of animals in crates and cages where they can barely move an inch for their entire lives.
- Protect the Harvest was established in 2010 by Forrest Lucas of Lucas Oil (who states he has invested more than $600,000 to start the group) along with agriculture leaders in Missouri and Iowa to oppose policy makers and activists who don’t agree with their agenda of defending Big Agribusiness, puppy mills and other abusive industries.
- Forrest Lucas and Protect the Harvest are attacking the HSUS because they want to maintain the status quo for Big Agribusiness, puppy mills and other abusive industries.
- Protect the Harvest is considered a front group by Source Watch and the Center for Food Safety.
- The group attracts support from extremists like those who defend cockfighting, puppy mills and other inhumane activities.
- Lucas and Protect the Harvest established a SuperPAC by the same name.
- In October 2014, Forrest Lucas’s wife Charlotte was in the news for racist comments that she posted on her Facebook page. The Lucases even had to apologize with a full-page ad in the Indianapolis Star.
- In November of 2016, Protect the Harvest’s then equine representative Dave Duquette assaulted an anti-soring reporter at the Equus Film Festival in New York.
Protect the Harvest’s Record
- In 2010, Forrest Lucas spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to bankroll the opposition to Proposition B in Missouri, which voters approved to set common-sense standards for the care of dogs in large-scale commercial breeding operations (their statement against Prop B can be found here). According to KSPR News in Springfield, Missouri, Lucas then supported an effort in the Missouri legislature to weaken and repeal parts of the voter-approved measure, before it even had a chance to take effect.
- In 2012, Forrest Lucas spent more than a quarter-million dollars opposing Measure 5 in North Dakota, which sought to establish felony-level penalties for malicious cruelty to dogs, cats and horses, according to the Grand Forks Herald.
- In 2013, Protect the Harvest lobbied against a local ordinance in Harrison County, Indiana, to promote the spaying and neutering of pets and help reduce pet overpopulation, and, according to the Clarion News, lobbied against an effort in in Crawford County, Indiana to provide adequate shelter for dogs and protect them from the elements.
- In 2016, Forrest Lucas spent nearly $200,000 opposing the Yes on 3 ballot measure in Massachusetts that mandated all pork, veal and eggs farmed and sold in Massachusetts come from pigs, calves and laying hens not confined to ultra-tight quarters. Despite his efforts, and those of Protect the Harvest’s Brian Klippenstein who assisted with campaign management for the No on 3 campaign, the measure passed overwhelmingly by 77%.