DO YOU REMEMBER – PETA has ideas for other ways to predict the weather on Groundhog Day
Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it might be cold out on Groundhog Day.
Each year, the eyes of the nation turn to a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil, tasked with predicting the impending spring, but PETA wishes to relieve Phil of this duty and has proposed a surprising alternative.
The tradition of Groundhog Day dates back to the 1800s when residents of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, first traveled to Gobbler’s Knob, Phil’s “official” home.
The rodent became a national symbol after appearing on Today in 1960, but his continued job as weatherman goes against the wishes of PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a non-profit animal rights group with an eventful history in animal welfare.
With Groundhog Day fast approaching on February 1, PETA is calling for this year to bring some change and give Punxsutawney Phil a break and early retirement.
This week, PETA sent a letter to Tom Dunkel, president of The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, with a proposal: the organization would send the club a giant gold coin to be used for weather predictions in place of Phil the groundhog.
“He is not a meteorologist, and he deserves better than to be exploited every year for tourism money,” said PETA, adding that a groundhog’s weather prediction based on the presence or absence of a shadow is no more accurate than flipping a coin.
The group continued, “The huge coin could easily replace him as the Pennsylvania town’s gimmick to draw in tourists.”
PETA further notes that by nature groundhogs are shy, prefer to stay away from humans, and like to live solitary lives.