Lions and Tigers and Bears … on the Menu?

Published by PETA.
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

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind