As we have noted in previous posts, there has been an organized effort fight on behalf of animals in West Michigan since the 1980s.
One of the first groups that came together was West Michigan For Animals. This group was doing anti-fur protests and challenging the slaughterhouse industry in the area. The first print to honor this work is from Emma Rupprecht, which honors the work done to confront the abuse of animals at area rodeos. There was a significant campaign that lasted for several years around raising awareness and ending the Rodeo events being held in West Michigan.
The second print to focus on the Grand Rapids Animal Rights movements was created by Catherine Reynolds. This print honors the work to confront the fur industry in West Michigan, which included education, mock fur shows and protests at stores that sold animal furs in the area.
Here is an excerpt from one of our posts about the anti-fur campaign:
At that time PETA was producing posters with a picture of a skinned animal with the words “Fur is Dead” on them. A member had the idea to secure the posters on the back of our coats and go into the stores as costumers shopping. We were able to make a couple of visits like that to each store before they began recognizing us and kicking us out upon entrance for “creating a disturbance”.
We also targeted fur wearers. We would go to the GR Symphony performances and wait for the attendees to exit. We had our signs, traps, and furs that were donated to the group that we coated in “blood”. We would engage with those wearing furs as they left the building. These engagements turned into physical confrontations more than once.”
The third print is from Arianna Onesi, a print that focuses on the protests that have been organized over the past three decades to expose the abuse of animals whenever the circus comes to town.
Each of these three prints provide powerful visuals around the incredible commitment and work that dozens of people have done around animal rights & animal liberation in West Michigan since the early 1980s.