SD ranchers irked PETA supporter Joan Jett is riding state's Thanksgiving float


It's hard to say whether South Dakota ranchers love rock 'n' roll, but it's clear some of them are not fans of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.

The Associated Press reports that the president of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, Cory Eich, is upset over the choice of the "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" singer to perform on the state's float at the Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on Nov. 28.

Eich says the move is "a huge blunder" because Jett is a vegetarian and a supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which has previously criticized livestock production practices.

State Sen. Larry Rhoden, who is also a rancher, told the Rapid City Journal that the choice of Jett was "odd."

"Her agenda through PETA does not represent South Dakota," Rhoden told the paper. "The organization is obviously very anti-ag. They are very misinformed on the ag industry and the animal ag industry."

South Dakota Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen tells the AP that people want to blame the state for the move, when in fact it was Macy's that selected Jett to perform on the float when the state's choices for an artist didn't materialize.

Former South Dakota lawmaker and State Agricultural Secretary Larry Gabriel told the AP that Jett is entitled to her beliefs, and he's hoping the rocker won't use her time on the float to promote vegetarianism or PETA.

Hagen told the Journal that he felt Jett was a good choice because the 55-year-old musician should appeal to the generation South Dakota is trying to attract as tourists.

"American Pie" singer Don McLean performed on the South Dakota float during the 2012 Macy's parade, and Neil Diamond was featured on the float in 2011.

A former member of the girl group The Runaways, Jett broke out as a solo artist with the rock anthem "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" in 1981.

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