Looks like foie gras isn't the only meat that's getting animal activists all riled up; a Kansas restaurant got some heat last week for planning an exotic meats dinner this week, including a lion meat course.
Chef Jason Febres at Taste & See in Wichita, Kan., was reportedly planning on serving lion meat at a $160 a plate dinner on Tuesday.
He has since substituted the course, the Taste & See general manager tells us. "Our decision to remove the lion meat course was based on a small minority group of people who spoke to us with empathy and understood what we were doing," a representative said. The sold-out dinner will still include eight courses with meats like kangaroo, alpaca, crocodile, foie gras, and water buffalo.
"We did [take] 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... [I] didn't mean to offend anybody so I decided to make it right and substitute the lion course," Febres wrote on his Facebook wall.
In the meantime, other animal activists such as the group Born Free protested the dinner, and a Change.org petition was created, saying, "[Febres] is cooking bits and pieces of African lion and other species usually spared from North American dinner plates (alpaca, antelope, crocodile, hare, kangaroo, and water buffalo)." Even though the chef was actaully planning on using farm-raised lion (rather than potentially endangered African lion), animal activists still find eating these meats "absolutely nauseating."
"We believe that wild animals belong in the wild, and there should be no slaughter for human consumption, especially in the U.S.," Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free, said.
Taste & See has yet to decide what the lion substitution will be (menu details are being kept under wraps for their paying guests). "We're contemplating anything from a base meat, like lamb or something a little more common, to a vegan dish to another meat," a representative told us. Meanwhile, the Change.org petition has been updated, claiming that exotic animals should not be served for dinner. Febres, however, thinks otherwise.
"Remember what for 'you' might be exotic or different, for others and some cultures is their daily bread. Take a look for example at the fact that some people love eating cattle... last time I checked it is sacred for some cultures and countries," Febres wrote on his Facebook.