Update 06/25/10: Il Vinaio posted the following announcement on their Facebook page: " It is officially Friday, June 25, 2010. il Vinaio is no longer serving Lion. There is no lion on the menu. I won't name names but many thanks to the FDA, Associated Press, Humane Society, and Maricopa County for their part and for showing we can work constructively together."
Thanks to everyone who sent an email to the restaurant owners on behalf of lions.
Il Vinaio restaurant in Mesa, Arizona is selling lion burgers in honor of the World Cup in South Africa.
Owner Cameron Selogie claims that since the lions are farm-raised, it doesn't pose a danger to threatened animals in Africa. But that's not true. Serving up farm-raised wildlife creates a demand, which makes it easier for poachers to get their product onto the market.
Lions do not belong on farms in the midwest, and they don't belong as a novelty item on restaurant menus. Ask the owners of Il Vinaio to take lion meat off the menu.
Photo credit: Zigomar
Further, I do not support farmed wildlife. Even on a "free-range" farm, Illinois is not a suitable habitat for African lions. There is no need to serve lion meat when there are so many other options available that are more humane and don't pose a threat to wildlife (including many fantastic vegetarian dishes from South Africa).
I urge you to immediately remove lion meat from your menu and support sustainable, humane dining instead.