Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Lions Belong in Jungles, Not Tacos

Written by PETA | January 20, 2011
nilsrinaldi/cc by 2.0

A Tucson, Arizona, restaurant owner has decided that the best way to drum up business for his taco stand is to serve lion meat. Hasn’t he ever heard of coupons? About six months ago, Bryan Mazon, owner of Boca Tacos y Tequila, started featuring what he calls Exotic Taco Wednesdays, during which he serves up turtle, kangaroo, alligator, python, and other exotic animals. Now, in a move that we’re pretty sure would make Mufasa toss him right off of Pride Rock, Mazon wants to serve tacos made with lion meat.

As appalling as this idea is, it gets worse: Those tacos may include someone’s former “pet.” Lion meat in the U.S. comes from lions who have spent their lives in backyard cages, zoos, pseudo-sanctuaries, roadside menageries, and circuses. When the novelty of keeping them wears off or when zoos need to make room for cute new babies, lions are sold at auction, where they may be purchased by slaughterhouses or canned hunting ranches

Mazon says he has heard from protesters and people who want to know if serving meat from exotic animals is legal. (Unfortunately, it is, if the species in question isn’t endangered.) “In all reality, what I want is just people to know that I’m here,” he said. “That’s the way to do it.” Really? Funny, because I bet loads more people have heard of yummy and meat-free Boca burgers than have heard of you. Hmmm.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

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  • akenawolf says:

    This story sounds really farfetched, I’m not disputing some idiot will try to sell alternative meats, but I know for a 100 percent fact that in america you cannot sell meat that is not produced from a licensed facility, getting a lion or its meat is no easy task.

  • sauwah says:

    as for animals eat other animals, so there should be nothing to stop us from eating lions. that’s more to it than following animals that are lot dumber than we. like all cats ( lions, tigers, cheetahs,snow leopards,bobcats and even our domestic cats) must eat meat in order to exist and have their species continue. in case we have forgotten, we are a bit different like our are closely related to primates. and many if not most primates eat fruits and veggies. nothing or no one can really stop us from eating each other as a matter of fact even though it is illegal. it’s better for our health and the health of the planet ( the food animals ) that we eat less meat and more fruit, nuts and veggies. i wish i could be a vegan; but i am really weak and have little self control. hell, we do not eat dogs in u.s.; but lions for sure are sitting above or on top of the food chain over dogs, cats and other animals we so worship or treasure and treat as if they were our family members.

  • DPARKER11 says:

    WOW THATS JUST NASTY AND INSANE!!!

  • DPARKER11 says:

    NASTY AND INSANE!!!

  • HellO says:

    That’s just disgusting!!! how can people do things like this?!

  • Patonki says:

    I don’t think animals this rare should be eaten, but if animals eat other animals, what’s to stop us from eating lions?

  • Evelyn says:

    This restaurant has cancelled the lion tacos according to reports today. Thank goodness!

  • PETA says:

    @Rossana – Legally, just about anyone in the U.S. can keep exotic animals for use in exhibits. For the most part, “owning” a big cat, primate, or other naturally free-roaming animal is as easy as applying for a state permit. Many state wildlife departments have minimal requirements for keeping these animals. Selling or keeping these animals is usually not illegal, as long as the dealer or buyer is properly licensed. For exhibitors, all that is required is licensure with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—not at all a complicated or expensive endeavor. For information about pseudo-sanctuaries and for information on how to locate US sanctuaries accredited by The Association of Sanctuaries, please visit http://www.PETA.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/pseudo-sanctuaries.aspx. Please also see our factsheet on the exotic-animal trade at http://www.PETA.org/issues/Companion-Animals/inside-the-exotic-animal-trade.aspx. To learn a candidate’s position on a comprehensive list of issues, including animal protection, please contact Project Vote Smart at 1-888-VOTE-SMART or http://www.votesmart.org/index.htm.

  • Crystal says:

    FYI.. Lions live in the Savannah not jungles.. they are desert cats.. not jungle cats.. panthers, jaguar, tigers..those live in jungles.. just sayin..

  • animal_lover says:

    I am as horrified with this news as I am with people raising farm animals for food. This has to stop. Please go vegan!

  • Nekold says:

    Does any one know if there is any plans for protesting/pickiting etc.? Would love to join the effort for support against this cruelty. Thanks

  • Luke Thomas says:

    Are you sure it’s LION meat? Where did the LION meat come from? CHINA? What’s to stop them from selling cat meat. Lions ARE cats.

  • Dave says:

    To be honest, I didn’t know of the meat free Boca. The fame Mazon is getting is mainly generated by PETA having a big hissy fit

  • Emmy says:

    I was eating a VEGAN taco (the best kind) while reading this.. not so hungry anymore..

  • Xena says:

    This is insane.  ..I have written to the restaurant owner and posted on his Facebook page, and signed a petition against this, but truth be told, I am beginning to believe all of this is worthless, because as long as heartless people rule the world, animals will be treated badly. . .this is sick and sad. . .

  • SirLion says:

    Mazon is a sick bastard. He wanted people to know he’s here?? Now we know. Serving cat meat in the USA was his big PR stunt? Forget dog meat in Korea, we have a new fight on our hands with Boca and Kraft in the USA.

  • Karmakat says:

    Why isn’t there a petition (or SOMETHING) to stop this madness???

  • jan gartner says:

    Im particularly appalled at restaurants serving exotic meats (although eating chicken, pork and cows is not good either). Lions are nearly an endangered species and I hope at some point they will be listed in that catagory. In Africa 20 years ago there were 200,000 lions. Today, less than 20,000 mostly due to pastoralists who kill the lions to save their cattle and goats. Conservationists are working with the tribal peoples, working with them and co opting with them in many tourist lodges whereby they receive monies for leaving the wildlife alone. i’ve been to Africa many times and where there used to be plentiful lions they are rarely seen now. The though of these magnificent creatures who were in circuses, pets, or other situations and then disgarded for meat is sickening. I can only imagine the deplorable conditions these lions live in prior to being slaughtered. Probably the same tiny pens, chained, standing in their own urine and excrement, and starved. Conditions similar to veal, chickens, pigs and other animals who are used for meat. But the lion thing really got to me. I love lions.

  • sauwah tsang says:

    lions should be listed as endangered because there are only 23000 in the wild and their number is declining fast! in kenya, they will be extinct in 20 yrs. but due to the pressure of the big game safari hunting lobbying and hunters who are very wealthy and influential, such speices will be listed as endangered. and for such animals and others whose lives are in such miserable; and now are used as a easy and cheap tool to draw attention, shame on him and those empty headed consumers of his tacos. if he wants more business, do what other good and ethical cooks and businessperson do, make a damn good taco with good quality and superior skill ( iron chef ).

  • Daidreemer says:

    That is appalling and disgusting. He should be ashamed of himself.

  • Priscilla Peach says:

    Congratulations! By doing a story on this guy you have just given him what he wants. You just increased his popularity whether seemingly negative or not now more people know of his restaurant and while peta members will not dine there others will.

  • slavake says:

    Petition to stop this kind of business practice. A law should be drafted and passed to stop this ridiculous uncivialized type of behavior. This is just plain crazy and the same that frequent this type of a business.

  • mya says:

    It only takes one person to make a difference sometimes, and whether this poor small business person made a bad call, it has already caused a sensation.  Morally, this is not a good thing, period.  Also, what about California with all it’s holier than thou attitude allow lions to be sold for meat?  What is wrong with this society?  It just keeps getting worse when it should know better.  

  • WOWA says:

    Now tht’s horrible! Do they do that at Taco Bell?? I was planning to but not to sure now :O

  • Rossana says:

    Barbaric. Also the consumers of meat are accountable for the needless slaughter of animals. We must ban the breeding, sale, and private ownership of all animals. Millions of dogs and cats are euthanized in the country. Animals are experimented on in labs. We need legislation to protect animals but there is not enough funding for this, because it’s not profitable. We still live in a primitive world.

  • Rossana says:

    It is obviously an exploitation. The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries ( a Wahington based accredited group) displays few ‘accredited’ sanctuaries around the country. Hundreds of facilities in the state of Florida have licenses to care for lions, tigers and many types of primates. What agency monitors these facilities? Carole Baskin ,the owner of a facility in Tampa, Florida that cares for animals rescued from roadside zoos, circuses and private owners, lobbied the Florida legislature to ban the breeding, sale and private ownership of exotic animals. Is there proposed legislation to ban pseudo-sanctuaries,zoos, circuses and canned hunting ranches around the country? Anyone knows a website listing pseudo-sanctuaries? Many people are deceived into thinking ‘all sanctuaries are heavenly places’. We need accurate information regarding ‘real sanctuaries’. How can we find out the names of legislators actively advocating for animals? A single tiger can eat upwards of 60 pounds of meat a week, also causing the slaughter of other animals. Let us hope for a vegan world.

  • ocean17 says:

    is this some sort of joke, i guess not, this is just insane. the american marketplace, where apathy and greed are number one. too bad compassion and commonsense aren’t on the menu. another good reason to go veggie, do it today.

  • Saguaro says:

    I live in Tucson AZ and I am just disgusted to hear about this! I’ll be sure to stop by and say hi to him….

  • RescueALab says:

    Please supply contact information for him and the government agency which allows threatened animals to be eaten.

  • Heidi says:

    Just when you think you’ve heard it all. God help us!

  • Sophia says:

    and to anewlow, im not surprised to see that you have also placed the value of a life underneath a human’s greed.  yes about every company in america promotes animal abuse, but once again, this mans actions are pushing boundaries which have already been set to low.

  • Suzanne P. says:

    The loins do not know better they are just hungry!