To promote the World Cup in 2010, the il Vinaio restaurant in Mesa, Arizona, began sales of lion meat hamburgers. The restaurant owner claimed that the meat came from hand raised African lions at a facility called Fallow Farms.

The campaign was launched by Susan Cooper. After intensive investigation between One World Conservation and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), it was determined that Fallow Farms did not exist. It was a third party business run out of a residence, located in Illinois, that distributed exotic meats.

The distributor that provided the meat was Czimers Game and Seafood, whose founder was convicted for illegal killing of exotic and endangered cats, including snow leopards, tigers, etc. See: US Fish and Wildlife, Operation Snowplow.

It was found that when the meats are processed, they can be mislabeled as lion meat, which is legal to sell, although they may be meat from another species (snow leopard, tiger, etc.). There is no way to regulate it.


All investigative material was turned over to the appropriate federal agencies. The restaurant owner sold out the produce he had purchased and ceased further sales but showed no remorse.

He used the excuse that it was an acceptable practice because people in Zimbabwe, Africa, eat lions all the time, and it was the Africa World Cup. However, this is not accurate, obviously showing a lack of social and cultural understanding of the people of Africa.