PETA Wants Punxsutawney Phil To Be Replaced With Giant Coin
Ahead of Groundhog Day on Feb. 2, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is calling for Punxsutawney Phil to be retired. The animal rights group sent a letter to The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s president, Tom Dunkel, offering to send a giant gold coin to replace Punxsutawney Phil.
They claim that the groundhog’s weather predictions are no more reliable than a coin toss, according to their news release. PETA notes that groundhogs are naturally shy animals who enjoy burrowing, exploring, and hibernating—which are impossible in the small enclosure Phil is kept in year-round at the local library. One of their conditions is that Phill finally be allowed to live out his days at a “reputable sanctuary.”
“Weather There’ll Be More Winter Day”
PETA recommends giving the holiday a new name like “Weather There’ll Be More Winter Day” to show respect for Phil and set an example for moving away from this “tired tradition.” In the past, PETA has suggested alternatives, such as replacing Punxsutawney Phil with a persimmon tree or a willing human participant.
They stated, “The group’s previous offers to provide a willing human replacement for Phil, who would live in his small enclosure and take his place making unscientific weather predictions, or to plant a persimmon tree, whose seeds are believed by some farmers to indicate the weather ahead, still stand.”
Some people commented on PETA’s Instagram post about Phill to express their thoughts. “If people can be meteorologists, why can’t animals? You say that animals should have rights, so why can’t Phil be a meteorologist?” someone wrote. One person took to the comments to add to PETA’s message, saying, “I’ve always thought this tradition is out of this world stupid.”
According to The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s website, Phil does not live in an enclosure. He lives in his own burrow that connects to several locations throughout the town. This includes Barclay Square, the town park, and the Punxsutawney Memorial Library.
Certainly, the day is named Groundhog Day, and the groundhog holds a central role in it, making any change in the name unlikely in the near future. But you never know, it could happen.
Read the complete letter from PETA here.