Culinate

Lion meat

Big game — for dinner?

By
December 26, 2012

In recent months, a number of petitions have gone up on the Internet calling for a ban on serving lion. Didn’t know roaring meat was so popular Stateside? Apparently at least a few restaurants serve up the remains of, say, former circus lions.

Many diners haven’t been thrilled about the idea of eating a threatened species. After a successful petition last summer asking a Kansas restaurant to cancel an exotic-animal dinner, a new petition is calling on the USDA to ban the sale of lion meat entirely.

As the Wichita Eagle noted, the current brouhaha got started over a single restaurant dinner that was slated to feature kangaroo, alpaca, crocodile, and water buffalo as well as lion meat. But other restaurants occasionally serve lion meat as well, raising both the ire of animal lovers and the enthusiasm of exotic-meat fans.

Behind these restaurants is a network of lion-meat suppliers. Such purveyors could no longer produce or sell lion meat if, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced in November, lions get listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.