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David Shankbone

It doesn’t matter that Joan Jett is a rock legend; her vegetarianism is chapping the South Dakota ag industry’s hide. She agreed to perform this Thanksgiving on the Mount Rushmore float in the Macy’s parade, but ranchers aren’t down with her bad reputation:

South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association President Cory Eich, who farms and ranches near Canova in eastern South Dakota, said Wednesday he thinks it was a mistake to select Jett because she is a supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which promotes a vegetarian diet and criticizes livestock production practices. Her stands don’t mesh with South Dakota, a state where the cattle industry makes up a huge part of the economy, he said …

“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.”

UGH! What were they thinking?! Maybe that Jett’s a platinum-selling music pioneer? Maybe that “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” is a good way to make people think South Dakota isn’t a boring place to visit? Maybe that someone waving and wearing a full-body steak costume wouldn’t be as sexy as an actual rockstar?

Plus, it’s not like Jett’s gonna be performing a song called “Big Ag Is Super-Wasteful.” There’s no secret vegetarian message to “Crimson and Clover.” Most folks watching the parade at home aren’t gonna grab their phone and google “Joan Jett stance on meat” — they’ll be snoring on the couch.

Even if PETA’s lame, Joan Jett is not. Ranchers need to lighten up.

h/t Rachel Maddow staff’s Twitter