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Lions and Tigers and Bears … on the Menu?

Written by PETA | June 24, 2010
tambako / CC by 2.0

Here’s another reason not to visit zoos and circuses: The lions you gawk at today could end up on a restaurant menu tomorrow.

A restaurant in Mesa, Arizona, made headlines this week for serving lion-meat burgers as part of a promotion related to the World Cup in South Africa. CNN reports that the meat was supplied by an Illinois butcher who was sentenced to six months in prison in 2003 for selling meat from federally protected tigers and leopards.

And where, exactly, did he get the lion meat? PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk gives her view—and reminds meat-eaters that lion burgers aren’t really any worse than what’s already on their plate (hint: factory farms are no walk in the park):


Lion meat served in restaurants could come from old lions who lived in roadside zoos or were forced to perform in circuses. They could be unwanted grown-up cubs from ever-prolific lions—ones the zoos love to breed, as any baby animal draws a crowd and boosts ticket sales. Or they could have been “hunted” in a fenced-in compound by cowards who want a trophy to hang on the wall—so that’s what anyone who buys a lion burger is likely to be supporting. But the most manly meal is one that won’t make you impotent by the time you reach 40—and that’s one with no meat at all. So PETA’s advice is to give a thought for the majestic old lions—not to mention the cows and chickens whose flesh is being served in the restaurant down the block: They went kicking and screaming to their deaths too.


Tell us what you think about this sordid story.

Written by Paula Moore

Commenting is closed.
  • Felix says:

    Let them be. Arizona is the state of crazy people, nutjobs and psychopaths. Any insanity done by an Arizonian, ignore it. You may result injured or shot. You never disturb crazies.

  • Liz says:

    OMG…. There is a restaurant The Flaming Grill in Sacramento CA that is serving lion antelope burgers!!! How can we stop them from selling these burgers? Does anyone have any suggestions I can do on a local level?

  • Ayuven says:

    yo yo yo. Eating lions sounds plain dreadful. Wtf is wrong with the racist people down in AZ honestly first the whole “everyone against Mexicans” law and now this? You have to be kidding me. Eating cows sure that’s somewhat acceptable but not lions. I bet they taste all dry and lioney D No thank you

  • Jennifer says: is cruel animal killers and its because there are consumers seeking out for these wild animal meats. For example nn some areas beaver meat was an important part of the diet and Roman Catholics were permitted to eat meat from the beaver’s tail and paws as a substitute for fish on a Friday.

  • Roseann says:

    Isn’t it amazing that we are the smartest of all animals yet we cause all of the evil chaos wars pollution Oh the list is toooo long to continue.

  • Toby says:

    I’m reminded of a trip to South Africa with my family… I wasn’t raised vegan unfortunately on the trip we went to an gamemeatthemed resturaunt… I had to eat the peppered muscles of poor antelope all sorts of African species… it even had a hellish atmosphere with red dim light wealthy business people being entertained by these stakes with thighs on them huge knives brought to the table by silent workers… it should be illegal.

  • ellen says:

    What happened to king of the beasts? We ate him. That’s just disgusting i can’t even imagine the guilt i would feel if i knew i had lion in my mouth. And Peta you must be doing something right because i’m one of those horrible meat eaters you hate so much and i feel really bad every time i’m on this website. I love animals so much and want nothing more then to see wild animals in the wild.

  • Jena says:

    I haven’t been to a circus since I has 8 years and saw the cruelty that the circus people did to the animals. I think this is terrible and I think that anyone that does this should be locked up and the key threw away. Again an eye or any eye

  • carol frayne says:

    Why are the laws about animals in this country so lax and those that are in existence so hard to implement? I thought we were a nation of animal lovers but still we have millions of dogs and cats euthenised every year and then there is the illegal trafficking in exotic animals safari farms where animals cannot escape the bullet. The list goes on and on and on it is shameless and now this! When will the misery for these animals be stopped?

  • Mady Polsky says:

    Why hasn’t anyone shut down the farm in Illinois that are raising these regal anumal for slaughter and human consumption? This is mortifying. There is a restaurant in Mesa AZ that sell burgers for 21 dollars and it is shameful. This is just as bad as clubbing baby seals and raising animals for fur. Please try!

  • maureen says:

    I am not surprisedthe Insider had a story a few years back that included Gerald Mcraney in a fenced enclosure hunting zoo animals for sport one of the horrible things is that some of the animals were enticed with food and when the animals came up to them they were shot or speared they also were shown bow hunting tame hogs for sport.So it does not surprise me that this cruel world we live in is getting worse. Zoos should be fined and or closed down for selling the animals that lined their pocketsthere should be a law that if a zoo holds animals as their captives than that animal should be able to live it’s life out not have it snuffed out.I am sure I am not the only person that sees this world is falling apart. America the beautiful “from sea to shining sea”.We certainly are making a name for ourselves.

  • Laruto says:

    This is just absurd! How desperate are companies getting these days?? What’s next Flamingo nuggets?? Hearing about this disgusts me! So glad I don’t eat animal products anymore. Poor lions.. you think they’re almost untouchable because of how regal and amazing they are …. but then there’s sick people like that restaurant owner who think animals are here for us to exploit. Hopefully there will be a big rally outside his restaurant to help urge people to boycott these ghastly flesh burgers.

  • Grace says:

    What is the big deal about lions?!What about the people who kill chickenscowsand pigs?THey don’t go to jail!Why are they fussing about lions!They should be fussing about factory farms too!

  • Roshana says:

    Its the Il Vinaio restaurant in downtown Mesa Phoenix valley who is offering hamburgers made of the meat of Lions as a ‘special honortribute’ to the World Cup in South Africa! Its Very Sickening… i hope you will act against the ‘restaurant’!

  • Amanda says:

    OMG!!! This is horrible. I used to go to the zoo but after learing about how bad they are I will never go again. Also I do NOT support circuses what a horrible thing! This is unbelievable. I hope that butcher gets a good old life in PRISON. This makes me sick.

  • Nicola says:

    It’s so horrible. There should be a protest outside the restaurant and here’s an idea outside the restaurant you could give out leaflets explaining how the lions are killed and free cruelty free recipes!

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Lion meat??? I would no more eat that than I would eat housecat aka “roof rabbit’. But here is something positive about one of the restraunts in my area. Johnnie Reb’s which is the biggest BBQ chow down restraunt in Orange County now has vegetarianvegan options on the menu. They offer a veggie burger made with blackeyed peas onions and spices a southern vegetable plate I don’t know what’s in that Texas Caviar a bean dip served with chips which is a great appetizer I’ve eaten that and greatly expanded their salad offerings. And may wonders never cease they are keeping the calories and fat down by not deepfrying any of it! They listened to their customers!!

  • troller says:

    First!!! Just kidding. But I will be a bit proanimal this time and admit that this is kinda wrong. vulnerable species should probably stay in the wild and not in our bellies.

  • Raquel says:

    I just don’t understand how this restaurant owner could legally obtain something as exotic as lion meat. People are disgustingthey’ll put anything in their mouths.

  • Janelle O says:

    Oh MY GOD!!! That is absolutely horrifying and yet one would figure that it would be Arizona that would allow it to happen. Too bad we can’t just wipe that bit of the country off the map!!!!