23 June 2010

Arizona restaurant serves lion burgers to celebrate World Cup

In an obvious display of sheer stupidity, a restaurant in Arizona has added lion burgers to its menu as a tribute to the World Cup taking place in South Africa. The Il Vinaio restaurant in Mesa is serving the authentic lion burgers to patrons who wish to shell out $21 for the fare.

"We thought that since the World Cup was in Africa ...that the lion burger might be interesting for some of our more adventurous customers," owner Cameron Selogie told Reuters.

Understandably the idea has caused an uproar among animal rights advocates but Selogie assures the public that the big cats were not plucked from the Plains of Africa but rather raised on a free-range farm in Illinois. [Who knew we had lions being raised for food in The Prairie State?!] The restaurateur goes on to claim that protesters find solace in the fact that the meat in the burgers was home-grown and therefore had no affect on the wild threatened species.

Whether the lions are raised on a farm or taken from the wild, it really makes no difference. Here at This Dish Is Veg we don’t believe in eating animal flesh no matter where it comes from. The fact is, this restaurant chose to celebrate Africa by cooking up the King of The Jungle—an animal that is synonymous with the country—and that's just wrong.  Period.

It’s just one train wreck after another for the fair state of Arizona….

Update: To make a disturbing story even more sickening, it turns out that there is no free-range lion farm in Illinois. Supposedly unbeknownst to the Selogie, who ordered the product through a distributor, the meat being used at his restaurant was obtained from a butcher shop outside of Chicago that specializes in exotic meat. According to CNN, the lion meat is a byproduct of a skinning operation.

Photo Credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/e_phots