It's not just foie gras on menus that animal rights supporters are protesting. A $160 per person exotic game dinner at Taste And See restaurant in Wichita, Kansas has sparked online petitions thanks to one of the courses: lion meat.
The dinner, which occurs Tuesday, August 14, plans to feature several courses of exotic meats including kangaroo, alpaca, crocodile and water buffalo. After a petition protesting using African lion meat (one petition argues that the African lion populations are in serious decline) began making waves, chef Jason Febres decided to pull the course.
He explains his decision on his Facebook page. He writes in part:
I'm going to take a minute to explain and share the reason we decided to keep the lion off the menu....but not in anyway to cancel the event itself. First of all and I hope I am very clear with this, Taste and See does not serve or support ("according to my standards") any crazy or endangered exotic foods in our menu although we do have a fantastic food selection ;) ha!!!.
So.....with that said, we did took a second look at the fact of serving Lion meat and realized that yes, it can be a little shocking and disturbing for some people and in my heart I did felt touched and didn't mean to offend anybody so I decided to make it right and substitute the Lion course.
Febres continues by discussing the negative emails and vulgar comments he's received. "I don't feel like I need to prove myself or convince anyone about my statements of being an animal lover but this should give some of those haters something to chew on....I have being a supporter from heart and financial sponsor for wild animal specifically for http://www.care2.com/life since long time ago. So when I say I love animals I mean it," he writes.
Interestingly enough, KWCH 12 (a CBS affiliate) reports that Febres is, in fact, planning to serve foie gras. While the reasons for protest may be different -- population decline versus forced feeding -- we're wondering if lion meat is the end of the discussion between Febres and some of his more vocal opponents.