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Spoto's review was distasteful

Re: A taste of untamed delights | story, July 5

Spoto's review was distasteful

Do you really want to eat lion?

Do you really want to eat lion?

The needless killing of lions that culminated on the dinner table of Spoto's restaurant in Dunedin can only be topped by the insensitivity of the St. Petersburg Times reporter who gleefully feasted on this exotic animal and described every bite in such demented detail.

I am the reader who alerted the Times to this atrocity and I e-mailed a picture of the Spoto's sign, which advertised the special as African lion. I was assured by the person I spoke to that the paper would take note of this and that she was as upset as I was. She said someone would call me the next day, but no one called.

My intention in calling was to make readers aware that Spoto's is serving exotic animals that much time and effort is put into protecting. It is disappointing that the Times pays so little attention to a highly emotional issue that is brought to their attention by readers and turns it into a food review!

Who paid for this meal? It appears that some free advertising came Spoto's' way, since this became a food review rather than an informative article on exotic animals not usually found on a civilized menu.

Carol Sackman, Dunedin

Editor's note: The Times paid for the meal eaten by the two reporters who visited the restaurant, and paid the full menu price.

Re: A taste of untamed delights, story, July 5

African lions not for consumption

Concerning the serving of African lion at Spoto's restaurant in Dunedin, it's a tossup as to who is more cretinous, Spoto's for serving our old pal Leo, or the St. Petersburg Times for seeing this bit of indulgence as nothing more than occasion for a restaurant review.

Bud Nathans, Dunedin

Re: A taste of untamed delights

Research eateries before reviewing

With regard to your review of Spoto's in Dunedin, I cannot tell which I am more dismayed at, the glowing review written about a restaurant that offered up wild game or the fact that it was to attract a population that is so out of touch with the world around them that eating lions, kangaroos and the like is the fun and "in" thing to do. With all the restaurants in this area, the fact that this menu was chosen to sample and review is disheartening, to say the least.

While owner and chef Jim Stewart is correct to a point — the lion you were eating was farm raised — did you know that it was farm raised for canned hunts in South Africa?

I hope that a little more research may be done on any future "wild' meat, or domestic for that matter, that the St. Petersburg Times chooses to review.

Lisa Shaw, St. Petersburg

Re: A taste of untamed delights

Spoto's fare from unsavory location

I wonder if staff writer Tamara El-Khoury would have enjoyed her "farm raised" South African lion chop so much if she knew its source?

In an e-mail to me, South Africa's Campaign Against Canned Hunting — see — confirmed my hunch that this lion meat can only have come from the same South Africa farms that raise lions to be killed (for a hefty fee) by tourists in "canned hunts."

Lions are on the brink of extinction in the wild in East Africa. Just think what the $48 Spoto's is charging for a 14-ounce lion chop could do if it were spent on lion conservation in Kenya or Tanzania.

Patricia Massard, Tampa

Re: A taste of untamed delights

Animals deserve better treatment

In the midst of severe resource scarcity and environmental crises, it is in poor taste for you to glorify a business's blatant disrespect for the animal kingdom and planet as a whole. I am disappointed that the Times would even publish such a story.

"Farm-raising lions" in South Africa, shipping them to Colorado for "processing," then sending them on to Dunedin is beyond irresponsible.

Jennifer Ward, Sarasota

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Spoto's review was distasteful 07/12/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 15, 2008 8:33pm]
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