Burger Bar, an old-school drive-thru in Roy, Utah, drums up business by selling special burgers made from exotic meat. In November, it was alligator. In December, it was also alligator. This month, it is kangaroo.
This month, wildfires happen to be raging across Australia, killing millions of animals, including kangaroos. A few customers noticed the special burger and were concerned. “It’s probably not the best time to have it on the menu,” a customer told KUTV, a local news station. “You see on the news images of kangaroos fleeing the fires through all the smoke and the haze.”
News stories and social media brought wider attention to the kangaroo burgers. The owners of Burger Bar posted a defense on the restaurant’s Facebook page on January 9:
Joe Fowler, manager of the Burger Bar, elaborated to KUTV: “[The meat] was on a ship coming to us long before the fires even started.... We actually considered not doing it but kind of logistically it’s difficult to hold onto hundreds of pounds of meat. We don’t have space for it.” He added that kangaroos were not yet an endangered species, and if they ever did become endangered, he would consider taking kangaroo meat off the menu.
Within two days, Maddie Fowler, Joe’s sister, reported on Facebook that the Burger Bar had sold out of all 400 of its kangaroo burgers and would be substituting camel until the next exotic meat came in. (She promised “Wild Boar, Red Deer, Longhorn, and Yak in the coming months.”) She thanked members of the community for their support and added, “Oh, and a very special “thanks” to the individuals and organizations who thrive on and/or benefit from stirring up controversy and outrage. As a result of your “hit piece” (and the most wonderful customers in the world), we have had our two busiest days in January on record!” So there.