Something I, as an Ethically Consistent Person, Do Not Understand…
Recently, you, my readers, may have heard about a Tuscon, Arizona taco restaurant that planned to sell lion tacos (yes, tacos with meat made from lions; here’s a link if you don’t believe me). This restaurant has a history of selling tacos made from the flesh of exotic animals (they’ve already served python, kangaroo, and elk, among others, but just thinking about it burns me up, so I can’t very well list all of them). But recently, the owner scrapped this idea of serving lion tacos because apparently he was receiving threats against him, his family, and his restaurant.
So what is it about this I don’t understand? Well, for one, if people in Tuscon didn’t care when the restaurant sold the flesh of kangaroos and elk, what’s so different about lions that this guy was actually receiving threats? And for that matter, why are so few people that up in arms about Taco Bell or Chipotle serving up dead pig, cow, and chicken? It’s like when a person doesn’t eat pork or red meat, but will eat chicken and fish, because somehow they think birds and fish don’t suffer as much as mammals.
People, this isn’t the world of Orwell’s Animal Farm (though that was a good book). Some animals are not “more equal than others.” I am in no way defending the notion of lion tacos, but I don’t defend kangaroo tacos, hamburgers, dairy milkshakes, bacon omelets, or McNuggets either. Either all animals deserve to live, or none do, and they all definitely do.
Also, I’m not suggesting that any of my fellow activists should make a habit of making threats to fast food chains or small restaurants that serve cow, pig, chicken, or any exotic animal flesh. The most important people to reach are the consumers, as they’re the ones who patronize these places. And of course, you reach consumers best through education and grassroots community organizing (in ALL communities, not just middle- and upper-middle-class communities).
Basically, more people should have the mindset that all animals are created equal, and that if killing lions is wrong, so is killing pythons, kangaroos, elk, cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys, fish, rabbits…you probably get the idea. Until all are free!