Saturday, February 25, 2017

New Yorker: Eating a dog

(You all know how to click on a picture to make it bigger.)

Years ago, watching the PBS series, The Last Place on Earth, the story of the first explorers to reach the South Pole, I remember feeling revulsion when they ate their dogs to stay alive. I sometimes project myself into a situation if I am watching in a movie or on television. I thought I would rather starve than eat a dog.

Dogs and cats are sacred to Americans. Most of us, anyway. I know one guy who objects to spaying and neutering animals because we'll need to eat them when we are in the midst of the apocalypse. I excuse him; he is what I call quirky.

Because of our feelings for domestic animals, a cartoon like this from the December 14, 1940 New Yorker, would probably not be published today. It would provoke outrage. Carl Rose is the cartoonist behind this eye-opener. He’s an artist who has been mostly forgotten,* but he was an award-winner, and did illustration work as well as gag cartoons.

My guess on how this dog cartoon came about is when he (or the editor, who may have assigned it to him) read the article in the November 25, 1940 issue of Time. His imagination ran free on how a food editor might experience what a dog tastes like. It’s appalling, but funny in a sick sort of way. Still, no boycotts of me, please. I am just showing it as an example of what we can’t show today. (That makes no sense, I know.)

*Hairy Green Eyeball has a couple of collections of Carl Rose’s work, including a fictional cartoon history of a heroic war dog.


Kirk said...

Dog-as-food jokes occasionally pop up in the 1970s sitcom MASH, which took place in Korea.

If it's OK with you, I'd like to reference this post in the comment section of a blog I read titled By Ken Levine. This Ken Levine is not the video game designer but a former writer for MASH, and you've made me curious as to whether there were any complaints to the producers or the network about such jokes.

Postino said...

Kirk, sure, reference away. I would be interested in his answer.

I think one of the ways Americans dehumanize an enemy is by saying they eat dogs. They said it about the Vietnamese. My son married a Vietnamese girl and has had two visits to her home country, where he has traveled and eaten their food. Nowhere, he told me, did he see "dog" on the menu.