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Joan Jett switches Macy's Parade float after ranchers protest

South Dakota ranchers objected to Joan Jett's presence because she's a vegetarian who's critical of their business.
Posted By Kate Stanton   |   Nov. 17, 2013 at 6:25 PM   |   Comments

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Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Joan Jett won't perform atop a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade float representing South Dakota after protests from the state's cattle ranching community, the legendary rocker announced Saturday.

"I've decided to switch from South Dakota to another float because people's political agendas were getting in the way of what should be a purely entertainment driven event," Jett said in a statement. "I will remain focused on entertaining the millions of people watching, who will be celebrating a great American tradition."

Jett is a vegetarian and longtime supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization that is critical of the livestock industry.

"South Dakota Cattlemen's Association is very concerned that the South Dakota float would be featuring a prominent vegetarian on the Thanksgiving Parade float," she told the Rapid City Journal. "We hope that future floats would support not only the tourism industry but also agriculture."

South Dakota Cattlemen's Association executive director Jodie Anderson told The Rapid City Journal last week that the 55-year-old "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" singer didn't adequately represent the state's agricultural interests.

"South Dakota Cattlemen's Association is very concerned that the South Dakota float would be featuring a prominent vegetarian on the Thanksgiving Parade float," Anderson said. "We hope that future floats would support not only the tourism industry but also agriculture."

State Sen. Larry Rhoden, a rancher, said that Jett's "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," he added.

[CNN]

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