Lion meat is a hoax to drum up business. That is my opinion. Or is it? This is how I came to know about and track the lion meat story. But first I want to say that this story seems to have first appeared on 6/1/03 on http://www.usnews.com (see below). So this is a very old story that has been resurrected. I say resurrected because I received notification of lion meat in a Yahoo Group email. The email was a copy of an article on the Big Cat Rescue site. This is part of the email:
Would you be shocked to know that you can pick up your phone, call a 1-800 number and order a lion steak for dinner?
Unfortunately, it is legal in the United States to raise lions for human consumption. Several restaurants have included lion meat on their menus, much to the dismay of big cat lovers and animal activists alike.
The email provided a link to a forum, which in turn provided a link to the usnews.com site on which the author talks about exotic meat generally, such as Emu and ostrich. This is no doubt, real. The article then goes on to refer to lion meat:
“Customers like the game of exotic meat one-upmanship…and even lion. “Lion is the new big thing,” enthuses Greg Landry, co-owner of 888eatgame.com, a Florida-based mail-order firm. He claims the king of beasts tastes like veal. Landry’s lions are farm-raised in the United States, primarily for zoos or for use in photography and films. But some are sold for meat to help pay for breeding costs.”
I have taken the liberty to quote both extracts verbatim for feel and accuracy. If someone has a problem please tell me and I will act promptly.
Anyway the usnews.com story points to the 888eatgame.com website. This site is a mere link portal. A series of links to which a number of sites point. It is the home page for countless websites and there is no trace of Landry’s lion meat mail order business. I conclude it was designed to drive people to this shell of a website.
As to the Big Game Rescue article. That sounds true. The author urges to petition congress. The link at the bottom of the page simply returns us to the same page and therefore goes nowhere. This is a copy of the petition letter:
Our country is in desperate need of tougher laws regulating the breeding and possession of exotic animals, particularly exotic cats.
Unfortunately, lions breed well in captivity and are used in circus acts and pay-to-play schemes where you pay to pet a baby big cat or have your picture taken with one. Baby lions outgrow their usefulness as petting props by the time they are four months old, but lions have a life expectancy of 20 years in captivity. So, what happens next? These lions are often sold to canned hunts where they can be shot in their cage. Apparently, the others are being sent to the slaughterhouse and offered as an exotic meat delicacy.
Breeding, petting, killing and eating lions are inextricably intertwined. In order to protect the cats from the inhumane practices described above, we must first take action to stop the breeding of exotic cats in the United States.
Lion Meat – Conclusion
The 888eatgame.com site is not a “real” site. The Big Cat Rescue site is. The latter is real, the former not. But I don’t know how big this is. I think it is a very small issue but a a very bad one, if true. But lets remind ourselves that in China it is routine to eat tiger bones and tiger wine for health. These come from tiger farms. You can drink the wine while you are visiting the farms. In north Africa some people eat apes. Some people in the UK eat apes! It is nothing new ultimately. But for me it is all hideous. Others argue why not, what is the difference between lion meat and horse meat? We all know it is wrong no matter how well we rationalise what appears to be a sound argument.