South Dakota Ranchers Fired Up About ... Joan Jett

They don't want her on state's Macy's Thanksgiving parade float

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 14, 2013 10:04 AM CST

(Newser) – Joan Jett may love rock 'n' roll, but she does not love meat—a stance that has resulted in a very strange controversy in South Dakota. Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen chose Jett as the star of the state's Mount Rushmore float in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving parade, and South Dakota ranchers are not happy about it, the Rapid City Journal reports. Jett has appeared in PETA campaigns for vegetarianism, and that "agenda ... does not represent South Dakota," which is a very agricultural state, says one rancher who also happens to be a state senator.

PETA "is obviously very anti-ag," he adds. "They are very misinformed on the ag industry and the animal ag industry." The South Dakota Cattlemen's Association is also "very concerned" about Jett's role, the executive director says; the AP reports that the organization's president called it a "huge blunder." But Hagen says Macy's actually selected Jett after the celebrities the state suggested were unavailable. Jett "holds views that I don't, but there are a lot of people who love her as an artist," he adds. "It puts the focus on Mount Rushmore and South Dakota."

Joan Jett performs with her band The Blackhearts during the 18th Annual Race to Erase MS Gala, Friday, April 29, 2011, in Los Angeles.
Joan Jett performs with her band The Blackhearts during the 18th Annual Race to Erase MS Gala, Friday, April 29, 2011, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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