Old MacDonald had a farm — one resounding with oinks and moos and squawks. By today’s standards,
the old man’s farm would count as a model of biodiversity. Researcher Mia MacDonald points out that across the planet, old ways of farming are giving way to the environmentally devastating factory farms we’ve pioneered in the West — typically housing a single species of animal, confined by the thousands in conditions that would be alien to Old MacDonald’s pigs and cows and chickens. For modern industrial-scale animal farms, the proper literary form is the scathing environmental report, not the children’s ditty.