While we are children, the farm and all the wondrousness that surrounds it makes it a place of positive association. The charms of the pigs, goats, horses, etc. bring endless joy to our wide-eyed giggles during the time of our youth. Little do we know, the connotations of animals and being hemmed in by the barnyard called the corporation will start to take on new meaning as adults.
The pigs, of course, have the greatest shift in symbolization. No longer an adorable pink, pettable being we wish wouldn’t be led to the slaughter even though we really love bacon, the pig suddenly comes to manifest in the form of your boss, the oppressor who gorges on the fattening feast of your everyday suffering.
And where once you found sheep endearing–super cuddly even–now you can only experience the taint of the animal when you look around at your co-workers and notice the similarities to the way in which they chew their own proverbial cud (be it literal food from Pret-a-Manger or the bullshit they willingly swallow when they take orders). Their cow-like behavior–just content to stand there and be milked of their pride–is compounded by that glassed over bovine look that solidifies after about six months.
The building itself is like a barn, keeping all these unwilling animals confined in one overrun space where the higher up suits can occasionally come in to stare at them as though they’re precious, when, in actuality, they’re just taking stock of their livestock.
So now, when you go to the farm, it is not the pleasant place you thought it to be as you once did as a kid. In the present, all you can see is the workplace parallel. There’s a reason Orwell set his tautest masterpiece on a farm, after all. It’s an ideal setting for elucidating inequity.