Defend Lives by Threatening Lives. Animal Rights Extremists Tell You What You Can't Eat or Else! Tucson, AZ.
Eat me! I dare ya!!
Boca Tacos y Tequila, a Tucson Tex-Mex restaurant that's famous for exotic meat tacos with fillings that include alligator, python and turtle, was going to add lion meat to their menagerie of a menu until animal rights extremists started making threats.
In the past few days, the restaurant has gotten its lion's share of publicity by announcing the king of beasts as a taco option, but suddenly lion has been 86'ed from the menu. Owner Bryan Mazon issued this statement: "Due to concern for safety of our families, customers, vendors, and friends we will not be selling African Lion Tacos on Feb. 16th, 2011. We will continue to bring unique and creative menu items, but not at the expense of safety."
This is a common tactic of intimidation (or worse) employed by extremists of all stripes. What's even more unfortunate is that this is happening in Tucson, the city where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot. However, the irony or, actually, hypocrisy is that the extremists' objective (apparently) is to save lives by making physical threats or inflicting harm against those they feel are in opposition to their cause, essentially valuing one life over another. Anti-choice extremists were blowing up health clinics and assassinating medical professionals on a regular basis in the past. Their justification is that they are defending the defenseless. Using violence or violent threats to save lives is the most pathetic of principles. They need to read Machiavelli.
By the way, I'm not talking about this subject as an armchair food blogger. I've received plenty of ugly emails and threatening anonymous comments from animal rights extremists on this and other websites. My "crime" was writing about topics that the extremists object.
Last year, when the now-defunct The Hump Restaurant at the Santa Monica Airport was embroiled in the sei whale sting, I spoke up against the serving of the endangered sea mammal but suggested that the rage be focused at the actual perpetrators rather than the innocent employees of the restaurant. The extremists would accept nothing short of the business becoming extinct which ultimately was the case. Their argument the entire time was that the selling of the sei whales is absolutely unacceptable and should be punishable due to their endangered status. They were in the right and had the law on their side.
Lion, however, is not on the endangered list according to Crawford Allan, regional director for TRAFFIC, the international wildlife trade monitoring program administered by the World Wildlife Foundation. Allan further explains, "When bred in captivity, their meat is allowed to be traded. There are particular operations in the U.S. that are breeding lions, butchering them and selling them for meat." Exotic Meat Market in Perris, CA happens to be where Boca sourced its lion meat.
Apparently none of this matters to the people making the threats. They just don't want anyone selling or consuming lion meat, and, most significantly, they don't want to debate it. Don't sell, cook or eat lion... OR ELSE!!
So the take away here is definitely not a container of lion tacos, rather it's that animal extremists will intimidate by any means necessary to dictate what you can eat whether endangered or not. In this blogger's humble opinion, it's not the best way to win allies outside one's sphere of influence. I don't believe this incident is a slippery slope. I do feel that this kind of nasty behavior further divides an already polarized nation.