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Joan Jett to New Yorkers: Go Vegetarian

Jett hanging with a VSK newsstand

Jett hanging with a VSK newsstand

What Would Joan Jett Do (WWJJD–get it)?

Well, last Tuesday what Joan Jett did was help launch PETA’s Vegetarian Starter Kit (VSK) “blitz” of Manhattan in which thousands of VSKs were to be stocked at 30 stand-alone newsstands throughout the city. PETA rep Amanda Schinke explained that they decided to start offering VSKs at newsstands after the group filled more than 400,000 requests for the brochures in 2009 alone. There are also stands in Chicago and DC; those of you not lucky enough to live in any of these veg-awesome cities can order a free copy on PETA’s site.

Jett has been veg for 20 years and has done a “vegetarian testimonial” for PETA as well as helped out Farm Sanctuary in the past (check out the amazing photos of her visit to the farm).

When I asked Jett why she decided to do the launch for PETA, she explained that she liked the organization because it’s “intense” and it “doesn’t stop.” Explaining that you “can’t always do things with smiles and kisses,” it was clear that Jett approved of this grassroots approach to spreading the veg message (though this event featured more polite conversation than in-your-face ranting).

Joan engaging a passerby

Accompanying Jett was Kenny Laguna, her long-time business partner, collaborator and friend. He chimed in to say that because of the health and environmental benefits of a veg diet, more people should go veg purely out of self-interest. Kenny went vegetarian at age 11 while growing up in the Village. His parents thought he had a screw loose but that didn’t stop him on his quest to kick the meat habit and he never looked back.

Kenny & Joan

Judging by the gaggle of rock chicks hanging around her in Union Square, Jett attracts fans wherever she goes (and probably even more so these days with The Runaways biopic having just played in theaters across the country). So it was cool to hear that she gets lots of positive feedback from fans in response to her animal advocacy work and regularly meets people who credit her for turning them on to vegetarianism (I can imagine that it’s not hard for Jett to turn fans on–did you see her in a bikini top on the Warped tour? Yeow!).

I also asked Jett for some of her favorite restaurants in the city–she prefers ‘sNice and Indian food. Kenny likes Angelica Kitchen and Soy Luck Club and had a hankering to try the Chipolte vegan chix burrito. I steered him in the direction of the 6th Ave location and recommended SuperVegan’s restaurant guide for future dining excursions (and because I might be wrong about which Chipotle location features the veg chix burrito)!

WWJJD? She’d rock the veg gospel… and take a Tempeh Reuben to go.


  1. Comment by


    on #

    Not to go all militant, but doesn’t this story belong on Super Vegetarian? Did PETA pay you guys to post this?

  2. Comment by


    on #

    Nope, I’m not on Peta’s payroll, I just love Jett and her veg activism. Sure, it’s frustrating to have to rely on celebrities to help move the message but in this case, I think Peta found a good candidate. I can’t imagine her promoting fur (hello Naomi Campbell) or back pedaling on her pro-animal stance anytime soon!

  3. Comment by


    on #

    Anne, I believe Hannah was critiquing the fact that Jett was using her activism to promote vegetarianism rather than veganism. I find it unfair though, considering it’s most logical to switch people over to vegetarianism first.

  4. Comment by

    Cat Clyne

    on #

    Geez lighten up. Like many organizations, PETA’s vegetarian starter kit is actually vegan. People can disagree with the tactic but many starter kits use the word vegetarian when everything they promote is actually vegan. The understanding is that it’s more accessible than using vegan. Like I said, people can disagree with the tactic. I’d rather celebrate the fact that Joan Jett was on the streets promoting plant-based living.

  5. Comment by


    on #

    From my understanding, you can eat “vegan” and still be considered vegetarian anyway. Leather shoes, coats… animal-tested beauty products…

    I think it would be very difficult to start from scratch and educate someone into going vegan in one day. Vegetarian is a good start. I think so, anyway.

  6. Comment by

    Jeff Z

    on #

    Great piece and pics! Joan Jett is a goddess who represents everything I love most in life–hot, strong, liberated women, animal rights, sex/kink positivity, and rock n’ roll! Screw the haters, “Go Veg” is a welcoming message that’s a much better intro to veganism than masturbatory/elitist/abolitionist language that serves egos, not animals.

  7. Comment by


    on #

    i wish joan would touch my penis