May 9th, 2013
11:45 AM ET
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UPDATE: Taco Fusion briefly pulled the controversial item from its menu, but has since reversed that decision, telling Tampa's FOX 13:

The company has posted a message on its website that reads in part:

"As a country, and hell, maybe as a planet, our food processing systems are not pretty, only efficient. They are not politically correct, and certainly need work. But if you are crying out in the name of diversity, in the name of freedom, in the name of rescuing a Lion, then why don’t you cry out for Cows? Who decides which animals are worthy? If the argument is that a Lion is “Majestic” so you shouldn’t breed them for meat consumption- then what is the lesson here That only the majestic pretty girls get treated well and the ugly ones go to the slaughter pen? How pompous and idiotic does that sound?"

(WFTS) A small south Tampa restaurant is causing quite a stir over a unique item offered on their menu: lion.

For $35 dollars taco lovers can try lion, as in, the king of the jungle.

"I thought the lion was good," said patron Lee Weiner. "It didn't taste too gamey to me, similar to steak."

Since Taco Fusion opened in February they have built a reputation for their unconventional taco filings. They have previously offered game like beaver and otter, but the controversy didn't start until lion meat made it's way onto their menu.

"I really don't like that at all," said McKenzie Bremer who opposed the restaurant's decision and said that a threatened species should not be served at a taco place.

Wild animal advocacy group Born Free USA embarked on an undercover investigation into the lion meat trade in 2011, and as part of their campaign to curb the trade, have petitioned to have African lion listed as "endangered" under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concluded that the petition presented substantial evidence indicating that listing this subspecies may be warranted, but has yet to issue a finding.

The owners say the lion meat comes from a vendor who raises lions strictly for sale of consumption.

According to Taco Fusion manager, Brad Barnett, the restaurant wanted to offer patrons the change to try different things, though they have seen mixed reactions to the new menu item. The restaurant has seen harsh reactions on social media, some going as far as making harmful threats.

"We have people who just sit on their couch and just want to go online and say things, be hurtful, make threats," said Barnett.

Jeff Kremer, with the Big Cat Rescue that rescues lions and similar large cats, questioned Taco Fusion's decision. "There is obviously an animal welfare concern and there is a bigger picture. The bigger concern is where do we, as society, draw the line for what is acceptable for moral and ethical behavior," Kremer stated.

Barnett offered a simple solution to the controversy, "If you don't like it, don't eat it."

Previously in taboo food news:
Lawmaker battles to ban lion meat
Horse meat, little blue balls and other weird stuff in your food this week
'Traces of horse DNA' found in some Nestle products
Horse: Coming soon to a meat case near you?
Poll – making a meal of mustang
Top Chef trots into taboo territory

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Filed under: Taboos

soundoff (732 Responses)
  1. Ally

    They're bred for human consumption only? Great. Like we needed even more factory farms. These are endangered animals. Don't be so selfish because you're simply curious and wanna try new things. Go eat insects if you're that hungry and curious. You just want the satisfaction that you've eaten a lion. It's obviously not because they're especially tasty.

    September 1, 2014 at 2:18 am |
  2. Trothgar

    Id try a Lion taco why not . Different country's eat it.

    June 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
  3. isabel marant sneakers

    Wow, nice YouTube video about how to install virtual directory, I completely got it. Thanks keep it up.
    isabel marant sneakers

    October 13, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  4. smoketokes

    Reblogged this on Smoke Tokes.

    August 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  5. Roger Rabbit

    Its called nature and evolution. You people who worry more about animals then your own species should be fed to the lions. The fact is that lions are not endangered and the commercial raising of said species will preserve them. Some of the vegans are at least not being hypocrites, but for all the rest of you you're just PC brainwashed sheep. I would eat lion in a heart beat. Now raising and farming these beasts would no doubt be an expensive and dangerous proposition and I'm not the least surprised by the $35.00 price tag. Hope they keep selling the tacos and not give into the PC storm troopers.

    June 3, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • sfth

      You are a troll and an ass.. thats pretty much it.

      April 18, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
    • Jon

      I agree with your argument, but I wouldn't be interested in trying one. Aquatic predators such as fish and gators are one thing, but generally you don't hear about people consuming things such as coyotes, fox, wolves or mountain lions here in the U.S. That being said, I don't personally have an issue with it as long as the survival of the species and the ecological niche they serve is not threatened. Unfortunately, here on the east coast the Mountain Lion has been completely wiped out. I am sure the same can be said for "standard lions" in some of the areas they once occurred naturally as well.

      February 21, 2014 at 11:57 am |
    • Kayla

      Lions are not meant for human consumption. Sadly bulls and other livestock such as pigs, sheep and goats have always been bread for human consumption. We have a choice either we can choose to eat exotic meet or not. But to sit here and say that lions are not going extinct is a very naive statement . Look at the facts there are far less lions and other exotic animals then there used to be . This is about as bad as people who deny the Holocaust or even the pyramid even though there is physical proof. There are videos pf these animals being horribly massacred for their pelts and being strangled and shot . You can find them on YouTube I understand this is your own opinion but please research what you are saying . I also know people personally who have seen the tragic killings take place. I personally love and respect lions and would never eat them .

      October 9, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • donotdefendcruelty

      for all of you idiots saying Lions are not endangered.....learn to read.

      Not only that, but a species such as a lion was never meant to be bred for human consumption. Don't defend it, it's sick. It's sick that people are slaughtering innocent animals all over the world to keep their body parts as trophies.

      February 21, 2014 at 10:40 am |
  6. CMar

    Disgusting neanderthals.

    May 14, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
  7. Melissa

    Please sign the petition to end the use of lion meat on restaurant menus. Take a stand and B their voice. Please share this post with your friends and family.

    May 13, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Kayla

      Thank you for posing the link , I greatly appreciate it :)

      October 9, 2013 at 1:51 am |
  8. snail

    No human has a right to kill an animal or treat an animal like property, regardless of the species.

    May 13, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Jeff

      Quite possibly one of the most ridiculously incorrect statements ever posted.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • hahahahahaha....

      hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha... ha.

      June 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  9. Gerald

    Become a vegan, I did.

    May 13, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • tylovetx

      Do you wear clothes? Then you're not a vegan.

      May 19, 2013 at 4:58 am |
  10. V Wolf

    Disgusting. Is there anything people won't eat? Really?!?

    May 13, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Jon

      There's always the poop burger!

      February 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
  11. pop

    People complain about lions getting eaten, yet they eat cows....

    Cows supply us with milk, butter, cream and the whole dairy world... yet we eat them...

    Lions have one interest in humans... eating us, hahahaha

    i don't condone the eating of lions, nor cows... but if you eat one, yet claim to be an animal lover... you contradict yourself.

    May 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Exhorder

      Estimated 30,000 lions left in many cows are there in the world?

      May 12, 2013 at 10:36 am |
      • flubber

        Last time I checked they are not breeding lions and reintroducing them into the wild, so the number is still going to decrease. The problem is with habitat loss and everything that goes along with it. You could actually reintroduce them into the wild, but that will still not solve the problem...

        May 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • Buck

          A majority of bison in the US are bred for human consumption. You can't deny the fact that bison are no longer an endangered species.

          May 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • realpeople

      I am an animal lover, I love eating steak, pork chops and virtually any sort of animal meat.....snake and other reptiles I find a little hard to digest and they usually give people the runs. Fowl is great as long as you can get over the sulfur smell when field dressing them, there is a reason they call them fowl. Seafood is a mixed bag, however; as long as it's fresh it is generally good.

      May 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
      • LizzyBritt

        So, what you're actually saying is you love to EAT animals.... you don't actually LOVE animals.

        May 14, 2013 at 2:47 am |
  12. Eliells

    So the "restaurant" thinks majestic means prettier prettier and thinks this is discrimination. They feel they are being persecuted and compare this to the Salem witchcraft trials. Again, same greedy selfish point of view that would tear down the rain forests to sell real estate, level pyramids to sell chunks for souvenirs- what makes one rock or tree worth more more than another? Total disregard for anything to make a buck. Maybe mass slaughterhouses for cows are wrong so if profit from this is ok anything goes. Six degrees of separation from human trafficking, eventually profit makes everything ok. You got yours- congratulations.

    May 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Eliells

      P.S. you found a great way to break into the sucker market. Only a sucker would spend $35 on a taco.

      May 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  13. realpeople

    There are really only a handful of creatures you actually cannot eat, as in poisonous. If this is actual raised lion whats the problem. I have eaten a large variety of meat, from eel, snake and mountain lion, and a bunch in between. All that I have tried has been excellent, except oysters which are disgusting and look like Ox snot.

    May 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  14. T

    I put other because they didn't have HELL NO as an option, This is outrageous and should be discontinued ASAP!!!!!!

    May 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Why? In the US, at least, lion isn't any more exotic than, say, seal or guinea pig – both of which are regularly eaten elsewhere, and at least the latter of which would probably carry more "Ewww!" factor for Americans than lion.

      At $35 a pop, I won't be trying any soon. But I can't come up with any rational objection to eating lion or any other meat.

      May 12, 2013 at 6:47 am |
      • rs1201

        How about the fact that it's simply wrong to slaughter a lion just to have the pleasure of eating it. America is overflowing with food of all sorts...why on earth would one want to kill as majestic an animal as the lion is just to please one's palate. it's pure savagery.
        All any American has to do is go to the local supermarked and view the interminable aisles of fresh meat and chicken.
        Personally...I fell better all around when I have a salad with fresh fruits, fresh veggies, nuts, and whole grains...much healthier too...
        It's just wrong to kill anything when one doesn't need it to becomes savagery for the sake of savagery! I'd like to think that Americans are a bit more civilized than that!

        May 12, 2013 at 6:54 am |
      • Italian Cop

        Ey! You-a watch-a who you call a Guinea Pig-a!

        June 4, 2013 at 6:59 am |
  15. Lion

    I am an endangered species. Please don't eat me. Duh! It would make more sense to serve a human taco. I cant believe how dumb some people are. Why eat an animal that is on decline? lets all eat the last Galapagos giant tortoise carcass I think it may still be preserved somewhere.. I hear it makes great personal lubricant too.

    May 11, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • rs1201

      lions are not endangered!

      May 12, 2013 at 6:55 am |
      • Exhorder

        Estimated 30,000 left in the wild....down from about 200,000 from the 70's...
        you're right, eat away...

        May 12, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      MMMMmmmm!!! Turtle Soup!

      May 11, 2013 at 10:57 am |
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