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As seen below, Gulliver's provision for food were originally considered dangerous due to the sheer magnitude of the amount it would take to feed him. None-the-less, when they realize he'll protect them, things change very quickly. The irony comes from the fact that protection still doesn;t protect their food supply.
"In the mean time the emperor held frequent councils, to debate what course should be taken with me; and I was afterwards assured by a particular friend, a person of great quality, who was as much in the secret as any, that the court was under many difficulties concerning me. They apprehended my breaking loose; that my diet would be very expensive, and might cause a famine. Sometimes they determined to starve me; or at least to shoot me in the face and hands with poisoned arrows, which would soon despatch me; but again they considered, that the stench of so large a carcass might produce a plague in the metropolis, and probably spread through the whole kingdom."