The King Is Dead, and He Needs More Salt

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In the culinary world and the world of common sense there are boundaries. Through out the years exotic animals and domestic ones alike have become somewhat of a taboo in the world of food. Eating is like breathing, a natural instinct. On an average day, Americans age 15 and older spend 67 minutes eating and drinking as a “primary” activity. McDonald’s is one of the biggest players in the business. McDonald’s serves 68 million people a day. That’s one percent of the entire world’s population! McDonald’s sells more than 75 hamburgers every second. The iconic golden arches of their buildings are more recognizable than the Christian cross. Americans alone consume one billion pounds of beef in a year, which amounts to about five and a half million heads of cattle. But everyone knows nothing lasts forever.

We try to escape the mundane, to have something different every once in a while. Some people jump off bridges, some ride bulls, and some people travel to different places to dine on exotic animals, like the ostrich. There is one animal worth discussing that will shock you when discover how it’s prepared. IT’S LION! A south Tampa Bay restaurant named “Taco Fusion” is selling lion meat. Not only are people in an uproar (pun intended) over lion meat being used in tacos, but on top of that they cannot believe a lion taco costs $35. The controversial restaurant caused some stirring with their initial addition of beaver and otter to the menu. But the introduction of lion tacos is what really made people go crazy. Cameron Surette, a concerned citizen, told me, “Lion tacos isn’t the issue here. The real problem is lions being hunted and killed. I wouldn’t eat them and I’m surprised it’s legal. The owner of Taco Fusion said in an interview that the lions were raised by a private handler and were raised to be bought and eaten. As controversy over this ensued not only did the restaurant receive some bad criticism, but the employees suffered too.

Contrary to popular belief, lion meat is legal in the United States. This is not the first time that U.S. restaurants and groceries have offered lion meat. And it is certainly not the first time people have been outraged over the consumption of an animal. Earlier in 2013 Illinois Representative, Luis Arroyo tried to ban lion meat in his state by enacting the “Lion Meat Act”. If passed, the law would make it illegal for any person to slaughter a lion or for any person to possess, breed, import, export, or buy lions for food. Eating lions is not a good thing. Their population is already dwindling and killing them for food is only going to push them closer to extinction. When asked about the controversy, Ipswich High junior, Jeff Wallace said, “I think it’s alright; it’s just lion meat. I think lions are nice, but we do this all the time to other animals so why should lions be any different? I would honestly like to try lion meat with some chili or Cajun spices, maybe with a little tiger or panda on the side.”

So what do you think, how do feel? Exotic animals like the lion are crucial to the environment and the habitats that they live in. Society’s continuous deprivation of common sense and morality towards animals needs to change. Everyone needs get it through their heads that we need to do something different if we really want them to survive.