Reprinted with permission from Creators.
In 1729, an Irish political writer named Jonathan Swift noted with sorrow the large number of hungry children in Ireland and offered “a modest proposal” to solve the problem. His suggestion was for people to buy and eat them.
This option, he pointed out, would spare the children lives of poverty, prevent abortion and infanticide, relieve the burden on their parents, and “contribute to the feeding, and partly to the clothing, of many thousands.”
Swift, of course, wasn’t serious. He was satirizing the callous disregard of Ireland’s British rulers for the suffering of their subjects.…