I Use My Discontent to Make a Difference

Jon Bockman

By Jon Bockman

My name is Jon Bockman, and I recently received a large number of pamphlets and several Poultry Press publications with my UPC order. I have three pet chickens, and they mean the world to me. My life with them ignites my fire to extinguish the horrors of animal farming. Their complex personalities make me smile and cringe every day. I smile, because each chicken employs his or her own playful antics as they dustbathe, scratch, and beg for treats. I cringe, because I cannot help but think of the abysmal lives that billions of chickens endure as thieves harvest their bodies. My heart burns for the chickens’ plight. As a vegan for the past 18 months, I try to raise awareness to enact change. I leaflet and I speak out.

I will never lose the sick, nauseous feeling I have when I think of chickens in battery cages. The systematic torture of billions of lives feels like a bad dream. I know you mentioned the dream analogy in one of your books, but it bears repeating. The cold, metallic creations that jerk sweet little hens down an assembly line, shocking them and cutting them, must be a fantasy. I cannot believe that these things happen in real life, but knowing the sad truth, I cannot sit idly.

The conduct of our species in this matter makes me angry. Some people think that anger is a bad thing. I believe that anger can lead to action. I am not religious, but I appreciate this quote by St. Augustine: “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage . . . Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” I use my discontent to make a difference. – Jon Bockman

Jon Bockman lives in Illinois. This essay is derived from a letter he wrote to UPC president Karen Davis in July.