Joan Jett has been making music for decades with the support of a legion of fans and even has a special day celebrated in her honor; however, everyone cannot be a fan and that includes the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association. Joan Jett is a vocal vegetarian and animal rights enthusiast (belonging to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) who has been selected to represent the state (while riding on a float) during the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, much to the dismay of the Cattlemen’s Association.
According to the president of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, Cory Eich, “To me, it seems like a huge blunder. I guess I couldn’t disapprove more. I don’t understand what they were thinking.” Eich’s contention arises from his involvement in the prevalent cattle industry that supports much of South Dakota’s economy.
Some have vocally supported Joan Jett. The senior vice president of PETA, Dan Mathews, responded to the protestations through an email that read, “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.”
Still, others think the outrage is much ado about nothing. Organizers behind the decision explained the selection process that led to Joan Jett being chosen. Jim Hagen, who is the secretary for the South Dakota Tourism Department, shared the reason for Macy’s business decision to use Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. “It’s not because of any ill will Macy’s is trying to create or anything. They were just trying to do what they thought would be a great artist for us.” Hagen said before adding, “It’s never been about the artist for us in terms of who’s on that float. It’s about the fact that Mount Rushmore and South Dakota can be seen and heard by tens of millions of people.”
"I'd like to just be a little bit more open to making mistakes and not worrying about it so much."- Joan Jett
— Joan Jett (@joanjett) October 20, 2013
[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]