We’re about a week away from Groundhog Day, and PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is already raising a stink about us using real groundhogs to pretend-predict the weather.
They are (again) calling for Punxsutawney Phil to be retired, and now they’re offering to replace him with a GIANT GOLD COIN, which would be flipped, with one side calling for six more weeks of winter, and an early spring on the other.
It’s unclear if the coin actually exists yet, but in one PETA image, it looks bigger than Phil, maybe a couple FEET in diameter.
Okay, so why a coin? Well, Punxsutawney Phil has been making predictions since 1886, and he’s only been right about 39% of the time. So they argue that we’d be better off with a coin.
That said, the Groundhog Club claims Phil is never wrong. They say it’s their fault for misinterpreting his language, “Groundhogese.”
PETA says, “Groundhogs can’t make heads or tails of the weather forecast and shouldn’t be jostled around by large members of a different species and thrust in front of noisy crowds for a photo op.”
Also, we’d need a new name for “Groundhog Day,” and PETA suggests something like, “Weather There’ll Be More Winter Day.” (???)
Of course, the day IS called “Groundhog Day”, and the groundhog is central to it, so it’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
But even though PETA is ALSO doing this to drum up publicity for themselves, they’re right, each “Phil” is kept in confinement in a library all year, and is then used as a prop and paraded around every year.