by Daelyn Fortney
Categories: Animals, Eats.
Photo: flickr.com/photos/manager_2000

While some choose to blow vuvuzelas or buy t-shirts, a restaurant in Arizona is celebrating the World Cup by adding lion burgers to its menu. That’s right folks. For a mere $21 patrons of Il Vinaio in Mesa can dine on lion meat served with a side of corn on the cob and spicy chips.

Apparently nothing says celebration like ingesting the meat of an animal synonymous with the event’s host country.

Restaurateur Cameron Selogie told Reuters, “We thought that since the World Cup was in Africa …that the lion burger might be interesting for some of our more adventurous customers.”

Selogie, who expects to sell 30 burgers by Thursday, says that the restaurant has received numerous emails and even some bomb threats from those who are unhappy with the formidable feline burgers. However he claims that once it is explained that the meat comes from lions raised on a farm in Illinois, much of the anger is quelled.

“Most of them, when we tell them the facts, that this is farm-raised and it doesn’t hurt the endangered animals, seem pretty reasonable,” Selogie said.

It’s difficult to determine what the real story is here—that a restaurant is serving King of the Jungle burgers or that there is a farm in Illinois that raises the big cats for human consumption. No matter, the decision to serve meat from a threatened species as a tribute to an international soccer—or football, depending on your locale—event is mind-boggling. It is safe to say that Il Vinaio should not be consulted in any type of PR situation.

  • Cho cho ma

    I wish I could punch Cameron Selogie in the face. I know who would love to represent Cameron Selogie! Glenn Inwood, the murdering man himself!

  • http://www.beforewisdom.com beforewisdom

    Revolting.

  • http://naturigy.com Naturigy

    On some level it is not so different from eating cow burgers, but really, aren’t Lions endangered around the world?

  • don miguelo

    Is that USDA approved?
    How are they slaughtered?
    What if someone wants it “pink”, couldn’t they get some sort of parasite?
    They don’t eat lions in the mainstream culture of Africa (it’s a threatened species), how is this culturally relevant? That’s like saying we eat eagles in America because we did before they were protected and having some restaurant in Australia serve it to celebrate the World Cup!!

    Anything for a dollar, apparently.

  • AnimuX

    CNN: The lion burger is not what it seems…

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/23/smallbusiness/world_cup_lion_burger/index.htm

    “Czimer’s exotic-meat dealings have landed him in hot water before. Back in 2003, Chicago newspapers covered his conviction and six-month prison sentence for selling meat from federally protected tigers and leopards. Czimer admitted to purchasing the carcasses of 16 tigers, four lions, two mountain lions and one liger — a tiger-lion hybrid — which were skinned, butchered and sold as “lion meat,” for a profit of more than $38,000.

    His supply chain may be murky, but like the Arizona restaurateur and the meat salesman, he expressed total certainty that his lion meat is USDA-approved and thoroughly inspected by regulators before it reaches his processing plant.

    But here’s a twist: The USDA says it doesn’t inspect lions bred for meat. That’s the job of the Food and Drug Administration.”

    • AnimuX

      CNN: ‘The meat is the byproduct of a skinning operation owned by another man, Czimer said in an interview with CNNMoney.com. He declined to name that gentleman.

      “This man buys and sells animals for the skin, and when I need something and he has ability to get it, I will bargain for the meat. It’s a byproduct,” he said.

      And where does that mystery man get the lions? “I wouldn’t have any idea,” said Czimer, who operates a small retail store in addition to his wholesale business. “He has his sources, and I do not infringe on his business, just as he does not infringe on mine.”‘

      So much for free range farmed lion meat….

      • georgina0912

        Skinning operation? For fashion?????

  • Stacy

    When I read this I thought it must be some kind of joke. Who in their right mind would eat a dead lion? This is beyond disgusting. “Farmed” lions should be illegal. Eating carnivores in unhealthy – I can’t imagine it tastes very good. Gross. Shame!!!!

  • georgina0912

    So because the lions were farm-raised in Illinois that is supposed to calm down my guilt? And why the heck is that farm breeding lions? For Gordon Ramsay’s kitchens? For circuses? WHY?

    And i totally agree with Naturigy, eating animal flesh, endangered or not comes down to the same: eating non-human animals, but the reasoning behind that, because they celebrate the world cup in Africa, that is just ludicrous.

    What is next, elephant stew because the circus is in town?

  • http://gleestreet.com Brian H.

    When I saw the title of this post, I thought it was a joke. Knowing this is for real makes me feel queasy.

  • Jae

    Well if you can farm an elephant then why not?
    Horses for courses n’all …

  • Sonia

    I just loathe people sometimes. It’s really sad how ignorant and callous people(we) can be:(

  • greenergirl

    I don’t even know what to do with this. WTF is wrong with people? Sometimes I think we are the lowest of the species. Well, more than sometimes. So sad…

  • http://www.fertilehealthy.com/blog Hanlie

    I am from South Africa and I must say, I have never heard of anything more ridiculous and revolting. We don’t eat lions in Africa. We never have and we never will. Yes, we are excited about the World Cup (very excited), but I absolutely condemn this restaurant for cashing in in such a fraudulent and despicable way.

  • Bencat1000

    Just another case of an evil human animal chopping up another variety of animal to serve to greedy, violent pie-holes………..

  • http://anywebsite.com Whateve

    Your are all in need of something better to do! I wouldn’t doubt that none of you except for the foreigner from Africa, has traveled anywhere outside the US or even in the States. I have grown up on a farm, and mastered in the Culinary arts field working side by side with Real people from around the world, not the idiots paid on the F.network. (Except for the two older ones that I respect that are not even on that network) and if any of you had went to college and stood side by side with another person from far away, you will understand everything is different. Nobody cares that meat from a cow is consumed everyday in every fast food joints, or that the skin of a cow is made into your best shoes,wallet, jacket, furniture or even your car seats cause the cow is ugly. Or the Pig is made into a football and BBQ nobody cares, but an animal breed on a farm for food,fur or everyday items is not ok with you idiots cause its furry?? jack asses Ask any military person who has been to other country’s you will see cultures eating everything from sea horses, to rats to any rodent or anything that moves, cat, guts of anything and lion meat,elk,deer no different. Just cause from Africa doesn’t mean you eat lion, or Chinese mean you eat rice. Fools get out and travel and keep our opinions to your selves unless you try the food. Look at baldy on TV he eats pig dick, chicken dick etc but cant eat tripe. What ever.

  • Whoever…

    Pathetic…

    Humans will eat pretty much everything, including each other… yes there are cultures where cannibalism is normal and accepted as part of their daily life.

    If we go down that road why not start serving human flesh in restaurants? Why not? I mean, with the human over-population and all, it would be ecological and sustainable.
    And the argument of religion and sin and all that crap isn’t valid because one the most important commandments is “Thou shall not kill” and yet we kill humans and non-humans all the time…

    I’m all for it! (*sarcasm*)

    Humans… what an inferior species!

  • Truth

    Mmmm that sounds good, I wish I was still In Arizona.