Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
When we learned last week that a restaurant in Wichita, Kansas, was offering an “ultimate dining experience” that included African lion meat, we decided to get our supporters involved in a campaign to flood the restaurant with protests.
Some of those supporters shared with Born Free USA their messages to chef Jason Febres and the restaurant, Taste & See. They ranged from the reasoned — “Given the state of our environment, and its impact on species, I was both saddened and distressed to find out what your upcoming menu will offer animals who will soon become extinct due to society's irresponsible actions and greed” — to the impassioned — “I hope everyone involved—restaurant owners, the "chef" Febres, and especially all the rich pigs — gets violently ill with some rare intestinal virus or bacteria that's extremely difficult to diagnose and for which the only treatment is to wait it out — for several weeks of gut-cramping … agony!”
Although the sold-out, $160-per-diner event was not canceled, lion meat was taken off the menu. The restaurant explained on its Facebook page:
“We wish to note that the small percentage of people who genuinely and intelligently plead their case was what persuaded us to reconsider, and we are not submitting to the threats, vulgarities, pressure or blatant disregard for our rights through the expression of yours, but rather to the few voices of reason.”
With reason so clearly on our side, it’s understandable there was a passionate outcry. What compassionate person wouldn’t be incensed about a lion entrée? Sadly, the lion meat they planned to serve probably had to be ordered so far in advance that the animal was slaughtered before Febres amended his menu. But that animal must not die in vain: We must use events such as this to publicize how the African lion is endangered and to eat them is ludicrous and immensely destructive.