Yoram Erez

Chairman of PTROA

“Humanity’s biggest tragedy is the loss of a genuine connection with all living things on earth” ­

Over the years I have learned that we don’t really have the capability to truly understand who the living beings amongst us are. We have never managed to understand what their needs are. The majority of our connection to animals are based on exploitation. Most of us chose to ignore the fact that animals have feelings and needs. However, I believe that change can happen now, especially when the distance between West and East can be shortened by the stroke of a key. We must learn how to take advantage of this to the best of our abilities.

My guiding principle is as such: ”every living thing requires security and protection and we ­ mankind ­ are responsible for providing them”.
We are all to blame for animals’ situation around the world. Even if someone decides to become a vegetarian or vegan in order to not partake in this brutality, it does not make them a saint. This is good to quiet one’s conscience, but nothing more than that. I say this because for every vegetarian, hundreds of carnivores are born. Without getting into the issue of the morality of eating meat, the understanding and recognition of animals’ suffering is the key to change and to the necessity of doing it together.This can’t be achieved by blaming others.

Why China?

There are atrocities occurring worldwide, so why focus on China?
Personally, I don’t think the Chinese population is any different than any other in the world. Atrocities are committed everywhere in the world, however there are places where these atrocities are cleverly disguised.
With that said, I believe that we should seek change in places that it can successfully occur, and for me that is China. China is a superpower with the largest population in the world. Any change in China would have a rippling effect around the world, especially on the neighboring countries.
I adore the Chinese and their culture, and I don’t agree with the hatred pointed towards China and it’s citizens. I do not think this promotes our cause at all. I believe that in order to change something, one must understand and study it. The only way to to this is through tolerance because any other way doesn’t allow us to view reality as it is, through objective eyes.
With this said, I believe in the freedom of speech, even if I disagree with the voiced opinion.

So what is the right way?

Exposure! Don’t forget, there is always someone watching and listening. So even if you feel that your contribution is minor or insignificant, it is always better than nothing at all.
Approximately four years ago I was sitting at home in front of the computer, just surfing the web when I suddenly encountered a video taken in China depicting the impossible nightmare endured by cats and dogs in China. I will never forget the look on the face of this one big dog who was sitting in a cage. He knew. He looked at me with a look that said “look at what you did, look at what became of you”. I will never forget the despaired look in his eyes after he already went through hell and back and accepted his fate. His eyes begged me and conveyed to me his dying will, that when he closes his eyes, I will keep mine wide open. That was the first time I was exposed to these horrors. I remember hugging my two dogs, promising that I would do something, anything, to help their friends and comrades. The dog in that video has been with me ever since. He will never be just another dog, he is a symbol. He made me understand… the fact that I could be on the other side of the world and be exposed to what is going on there encouraged me. I understood the meaning of it and I realized that if it happened to me, then it can happen to many others as well. All we need to do is reach them and before we know it we will be riding a gigantic wave of change. By the way, I didn’t sleep that night. That was the night that PTROA was established.

“Salvation will be delivered from where evil flourishes”

People frequently ask me “when will change occur?” and I always reply that change is already in motion. It stems from where evil flourishes, amongst us. I do not believe in “them” and “us”. Evil doesn’t belong to others, it belongs to us, even if we deny it.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

A change is gonna come….

Yoram Erez.