Joan Jett and the Blackhearts are scheduled to appear on South Dakota's float in the the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. But, not everyone is happy about it, in fact, the ranchers of South Dakota's livestock industry are a little perturbed at the choice, according to CBS. Joan Jett is an outspoken Vegan, as well as an ardent supporter of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA.
South Dakota Cattlemen's Association President Cory Eich, who farms and ranches near Canova in eastern South Dakota, finds the choice confounding. He said Jett's stand on the cattle industry doesn't mesh with a state where the industry makes up a huge part of the economy."To me, it seems like a huge blunder," Eich said. "I guess I couldn't disapprove more. I don't understand what they were thinking."
Even Ohio Senator Larry Rhoden, who's also a rancher, is peeved at the choice to represent his state on their Mount Rushmore American Pride Float, according to E!. "Her agenda through PETA does not represent South Dakota. The organization is obviously very anti-ag. They are very misinformed on the ag industry and the animal ag industry."
Dan Mathews, senior vice president of PETA, responded by insinuating that the livestock industry is being defensive because it is the South Dakota industry that is the most destructive to the environment, human health and animals.
"We're surprised that ranchers want to draw attention to themselves by being crybabies over the appearance of a vegetarian icon such as Joan Jett on the state's float," Mathews said in an email.
Eich insists that despite PETA's remarks, mistreatment of animals doesn't happen where he's from."You don't mistreat your livelihood," Eich said.
South Dakota Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen says that people are mistaken if they think Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were chosen by them. He says that none of the artists proposed by the state were able or willing to appear on the float, so Macy's actually made the selection.
"It's not because of any ill will Macy's is trying to create or anything," Hagen said. "They were just trying to do what they thought would be a great artist for us."
Can you imaging having the job of making sure none of the performers on the floats have beef with the state they are representing? Pardon the pun...
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