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Duck Dynasty sent a very clear message to Morrissey this week: suck it, vegan!

The A&E series returned last night to record ratings, as 8.6 million viewers tuned in to watch these hunters do their thing, making the episode the most watched telecast in series history – and cable’s most watched reality telecast of 2013.

Prior to its airing, the program got an unexpected PR boot from the aforementioned British artist, who canceled an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday because these “animal serial killers” were also scheduled as guests.

Jase Robertson, Declaration of Love

After joking in his monologue the next day that he respects Morrissey’s stance on the issue, Kimmel added “there’s a very good reason why I didn’t dump the Duck Dynasty guys for” the singer.

“And that’s because they have guns.”

Morrissey, however, STILL would not let the topic rest, countering that Kimmel “found time to jokingly promote gun-ownership – hugely amusing for the parents at Sandy Hook, no doubt.”

“He also promoted his special guests Duck Dynasty – who kill beings for fun. None of the above issues are, of course, as important as Jimmy Kimmel himself, who has finally revealed his show to have an overwhelming loss of meaning. Tune in and relive the intellectual fog of the 1950s.”

And through it all, Duck Dynasty thrives.

Heck, it received more mentions on Facebook in 2012 than ANY other TV series. Take that, Game of Thrones.