Editor’s Note: Most people don’t know that lions are served in some US restaurants and sold in some grocery stores. Apparently lion meat has been in US restaurants for a few years, but Cheryl, a woman in Hoboken, NJ, wants to make sure we know. She has a petition at Change.org. activists have been successful in stopping two restaurants from ever slaughtering and selling lions in AZ. And now a restaurant in KS has also been stopped!
-The first article below is the most recent showing Chef Jason Febres changing his mind about serving the majestic lion for human scum on August 14 2012. Still, he will be serving alpaca, kangaroo and other innocent animals.
-The following articles are from 2011 and show the disgust people will go to for money.
-The last article is a very important piece from Born Free USA who uncovered the idea of farming and slaughtering lions.
Source: Born Free, Change.org, Kansas.com Witchita Star, ABC, CBS
Lion is no longer a main course at dinner
Source: WitchitaStar.com 8/10/2012
A Wichita restaurant that is planning a one-night-only, exotic dinner next week has decided to remove lion meat from the menu after animal-rights and social-action groups protested. Taste & See, a restaurant on East Harry at the Office This complex between Hillside and Oliver, is serving the dinner featuring kangaroo, alpaca, crocodile and water buffalo, among other meats.
Chef Jason Febres said Friday night on his Facebook page that, “We did took a second look … and realized that yes, it can be a little shocking and disturbing for some people. … I did felt touched and didn’t mean to offend anybody so I decided to make it right and substitute the Lion course.”
Febres’ sold-out dinner caused quite a fuss among groups such as wild-animal advocates Born Free USA and via the social-action site Change.org, where a petition was started which called for people to pressure Febres to cancel the dinner. He has no plans to do so and said some of the information about his dinner has been misleading. Febres said his original plan was not to serve wild African lion but rather lion meat that was farm-raised. He said he also is not adding lion meat – or any of the other meats featured at the $160 dinner Tuesday – to his regular menu.
This is where the lion meat comes from
“It’s just ignorance,” he said of some of the information going out in e-mails about his event.He also stressed that the African lion is not an endangered species.
Born Free USA and other groups are pushing for the lions to be given such status. Born Free USA sent out an e-mail blast to its members about Febres’ dinner. At Change.org, a petition was started against the dinner.
Its e-newsletter says that Febres “is going to slice and dice exotic animals from around the world and pretend the meal he’s creating is something chic and wonderful. As bad as it is that he is cooking bits and pieces of African lion and other species usually spared from North American dinner plates (alpaca, antelope, crocodile, hare, kangaroo and water buffalo), what might be worse is that enough people have agreed to pay $160 for the ‘experience’ that it is sold out.”
Born Free called the dinner “absolutely nauseating” and urged members to call or e-mail Taste & See.
Some members forwarded the e-mail to The Eagle. Anita Robertson, a Born Free supporter who lives in Massachusetts, said she supports many animal and environmental groups.
“I think it’s disgusting,” she said of the dinner. “I think it’s revolting.” Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free, which has offices in California and Washington, D.C., said his group and others have petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the African lion as endangered. The group also has raised concerns about the safety of eating such meat.
“Lion meat is not consumed anywhere in the world as a staple,” Roberts said. “This is a publicity stunt by a few restaurants around the country.” An Arizona restaurant last year canceled its plan to serve farm-raised lion meat in tacos after people protested. Roberts said lion meat, no matter the source, is a “significant campaign issue for us.”
“We believe that wild animals belong in the wild, and there should be no slaughter for human consumption, especially in the U.S.,” he said.
Taste & See’s Envelope-Pushing Chef Jason Febres Is Planning A Very Exotic Dinner Next Month
Source: Kansas.com July 2012
The $160 a plate dinner, scheduled for Aug. 14 at Taste & See, 3825 E. Harry, will feature Febres cooking unusual and exotic meats, “Iron Chef” style. On his eight-course menu are meats most people havn’t considered trying: wild hare from Scotland, Indian farm-raised alpaca, Australian crocodile tenderloin, African water buffalo, Australian kangaroo loin fillets, African antelope osso bucco and… and…. (wait for it)…. African lion.
Febres called this week to see if I wanted to attend the dinner, but alas, I’ll be out of town. I’m not sure I’m adventurous enough to dine on lion, anyway.
I’ll be curious to hear what attendees of the dinner think. I don’t know of anyone who’s sampled meat THIS exotic. It’s legal to sell the meat of lions raised in captivity, but that wasn’t much comfort last year to some Arizona residents whose ire persuaded a restaurant to scrap plans to sell lion tacos.
BEWARE: Comments on this article are from people who deserve to be served for dinner.
Florida Restaurant Puts Lion Meat On The Menu
Source: Tampa Tribune
A restaurant in Tampa, Florida, has been offering lion meat from South Africa to its customers. It is thought that the lion originated from a ‘lion farm’ in South Africa. Is this an industry which Florida restaurant goers would wish to support?
There is little doubt that the patrons of the restaurant will have little idea that by ordering lion meat they are supporting one of the most vicious and destructive industries in the world. Their money will go back along the commercial food chain until it reaches the canned lion breeder in South Africa, enriching him and encouraging his grisly trade. South Africa is the world capital of canned lion breeding and hunting; captive predators, often wild caught, are reared under cruel conditions and then shot for sport, often with bow and arrow. Packs of dogs are sometimes used to force tame, hand reared lions up trees so that bow hunters can have fun shooting arrows into their helpless victim.
Treating lions as livestock like this is cruel. Unlike cattle and sheep, which are mostly raised on the open range and have some natural contentment before they are penned, fattened and slaughtered, lions are predators and often bred in enclosures. Read more here
Born Free USA
King of Beasts, Not Burgers: Lion Meat Trade in the United States
“Born Free USA began looking into the lion meat trade in June 2010, after receiving reports of lion meat availability across the country – a pub in southern Philadelphia, PA, a grill known for its exotic selections in Sacramento, CA, and a bistro in Mesa, AZ, that advertised the meat during the World Cup hosted by South Africa.”
An appalling proliferation of ads for lion burgers at restaurants across the country led Born Free USA to undertake a year-long investigation into the sale of lion meat for human consumption.
We uncovered shocking information about this shady business — a cycle that involves lion cubs bred for the captive display industry, caged lions shot at a slaughterhouse, and lion meat sold to unwitting consumers without proper regulatory oversight of animal welfare of human health and safety.
Born Free USA hopes that, as a result of our investigation, state legislatures will consider banning sale of lion meat, the U.S. Congress will consider banning interstate commerce in lion meat, and both the USDA and FDA will ensure that any production and consumption of lion meat is done in full accordance with existing regulations.
Born Free USA uncovered the following:
· Lack of Oversight
Despite claims to the contrary, lion meat production and sale largely falls through the regulatory cracks with neither the FDA and nor USDA taking full responsibility for the process from start to finish.
· Risks to Human Health
Lion meat sold as a byproduct of the trade in lions raised for public display or “hobby” may not be raised with adequate attention to required antibiotic or other drug withdrawal times. The FDA does not regularly or proactively conduct residue testing in exotic meat. In addition, there are no regulations that prevent feeding lions “specified risk material” (SRM) — brains, eyes, spinal cord and other organs — that are prohibited in feed for other animals raised for human consumption due to the risk of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy caused by “prions” — abnormal proteins that eat holes in the brains of infected humans and animals.
· Mislabeling and Misleading
Once animals are skinned and slaughtered it is difficult, if not impossible, to identify the species or origin of the meat. At least one lion meat distributor has had a history of problems, including poor sanitation and selling meat from tigers and labeled as “lion meat.”
· Lion “Brokers” May Be Breaking the Law
Some lion brokers appear to lack proper USDA licenses, and if live lions are transported across state lines, they may very well violate the federal Captive Wildlife Safety Act.
· Lions Suffer
Lions are not covered under the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. This law requires that animals be rendered unconscious or insensible to pain prior to slaughter. Past investigations by Born Free USA into the private ownershipof exotic animals, roadside zoos and traveling shows have revealed appalling conditions under which captive exotic animals, including lions, are commonly kept. Many states have no laws governing the care and treatment of captive exotic animals.
· Conservation Concerns
The African Lion isn’t on the US Endangered Species List although Born Free USA along with other conservation organizations have petitioned for its listing. The lion population in Africa has been reduced by half since 1980. Born Free USA is concerned that increased popularity of lion meat in the United States could influence global trends and result in increased threats to the survival of the species in the wild.
Born Free USA’s investigation shines a bright light on this shady, under-regulated business that places both people and animals at risk. Consumers, restaurant owners and policy-makers are all equally responsible for putting a stop to this risky business by refusing to buy or sell lion meat and by pushing for and passing stronger regulations and prohibitions on the possession, slaughter and sale of lions in the United States.
For more on the lion meat investigation, read Senior Program Associate Monica Engebretson’s story in the fall/winter 2011 issue of our Animal Issues Digest, “Lions on the Menu: A Deadly Delicacy.”