Jonathan Safran Foer: Satirical Techniques

Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA

The article by Jonathan is sarcastically asking individuals who eat meat to feed on puppies as well. Jonathan gives enough reasons why they need to eat dogs. He says that just like other animals with intellectual capacity such cows and chicken are eaten, then dogs ought to be fed on. He additionally says that well-cooked dog meat does not have any health dangers to the individuals who consume it. Millions of dogs are euthanized each and every year. When they are buried, they become food for the plants and animals we devour later. Therefore, Jonathan argues that we are indirectly feeding on those dogs and there is no want to keep skipping the middle step. He also mentions some of the cultures that eat dogs for different beliefs such as good luck and higher sexual drive. Jonathan has effectively brought out his argument in the paper especially with the use of the satirical techniques. The aim of this paper is to prove that the article is successful at influencing individuals against the consumption of meat products.

Use of Hyperbole

Jonathan says that dog meat has been previously described as gamey, complex, buttery and floral. He says that the meat is so deliciously looking that it brings about a sense of pride for individuals who eat it. In fact, he says that the dogs themselves are begging to be eaten. Clearly, there is the use of hyperbole at that point. He is hugely exaggerating by saying that the dogs long to be eaten, Jonathan has explained the reasons why humans should begin feeding on dog meat. However, he feels that the reader is still not convinced and decides to employ this technique at this point.

It sounds gross for any living being to long for the day it dies. Therefore, the use of the hyperbole by saying that the dogs long for that day, shows the reader that eating of animal meat is gross. It makes the reader begin to think about the cows, chicken, goats and so on and wonder whether they ever long to be eaten. It is obvious that the dog is not waiting for the day human beings will feed on it, and it is only a statement to help the reader understand the kind of figure it brings out when animals are killed for consumption. The reader comes to a place of contention where they begin to evaluate if it is right to feed on animal meat. Therefore, the focus of Jonathan is achieved by indirectly challenging the mental capacity of the reader.

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Use of Irony

Jonathan says that dog meat that is well cooked does not pose any greater health risks than any other meat. He brings out this point after mentioning some of the taboos in society such as eating fellow human beings and being romantically involved with siblings. In many cultures, eating dog meat is seen as a taboo and it is not accepted. The dogs have not been eaten for many years since the time of their ancestors. Therefore, the direct contrast that Jonathan uses to show that dog meat is not a health hazard is ironical.

Jonathan knows that individuals would never agree to eat something they never heard of in their culture. Human beings are hardly willing to defy their backgrounds, and as such, it would be tough for them to eat dog meat. The irony will eventually come into the mind of the reader the next time he or she asks for a meal with meat on the menu. The imagination that it would be a dog will prompt him or her to ask for other foods that do not have meat. If the reader will make this a habit, then it would develop into a character, and eventually they become dissuaded from eating meat.

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Use of Sarcasm

From the approach used in writing the paper, it is clear that Jonathan does not support eating of animal meat. Even in the heading, he distances himself from the topic by using the article ‘them.' He goes on to state some of the disadvantages of eating meat such as the cruelty faced by animals during slaughter, global warming from factory farmed meat and pollution of the environment. However, he still praises dog meat throughout the article by asking individuals to eat it. Therefore, he has correctly used sarcasm in his essay.

He is expressing his sneering disapproval as praise. When reading any article, a person often connects with it emotionally and cognitively before they begin to reason about it. Jonathan has used sarcasm as a tool to reach the instincts of readers even before they start reasoning about it. By the time they are thinking whether it is right to compare dog meat with other animals, their instincts have already formed an attitude towards animal meat. There is a probability that has already developed in their minds that it is not right to eat animal meat. Therefore, the objective that Jonathan has is met using this technique. Individuals will begin to question eating animal meat and eventually disregard it.

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An Opposing View

The readers who feel that Jonathan is not effective in delivering his argument focuses on how he praises dog meat in some instances. He says that the Nigerians eat dogs for a higher sexual drive and the Philippines eat it to protect themselves from bad luck. These people eat dogs because it is a common thing in their culture. They have grown up seeing people do that and therefore it is possible that Jonathan refuses to eat meat because of his culture. From the way he describes it even to the extent of giving a sample recipe could mean that he secretly admires eating dog meat. Culture can be relearnt, and if Jonathan could live for some years with people who eat dogs and any other animal meat, there is the probability that he could begin feeding on it as well. If he meant to encourage individuals to become vegetarians, he should have focused his ideas on its benefits other than praising the meat he doesn't eat.


The article by Jonathan has used lots of satirical techniques which have helped him bring out his point more effectively. The use of the hyperbole is one of the most amazing technique that the article has employed. Others include sarcasm and irony. Jonathan is praising something he is not fond of. Therefore, he brings the reader into a state where he or she tries to balance between eating meat and being a vegetarian. The technique has therefore ensured that the article is effective in prompting individuals to abandon the habit of eating meat.

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