PENN -Times change. Traditions evolve. It’s long overdue for Phil to be retired, said PETA in a letter to Bill Deeley, President The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. Their suggestion a automated character that can actually predict the weather.
PETA says that groundhogs actively avoid humans and being close to the groundhog on the special day and tradition causes Phil stress.
“As a prey species, groundhogs actively avoid humans. Being in close proximity to the public causes these animals great stress. When Phil is dragged out of his hole and held up to flashing lights and crowds, he has no idea what’s happening. Being relegated to a library “habitat” for the other days of the year doesn’t allow him or the other groundhog there to dig, burrow, or forage. It’s no kind of life for these animals,” PETA said in a letter.
Instead they suggest a technologically advanced electromechanical devices such as animatronics instead that can actually predict the weather.
“Using technologically advanced electromechanical devices such as animatronics instead of live animals is more popular than ever. We even have the technology to create an animatronic groundhog with artificial intelligence (AI) that could actually predict the weather. An AI Phil would renew interest in Punxsutawney, generating a great deal of buzz, much like Sony’s robot dog “aibo,” which walks, plays, misbehaves, and responds to commands. By creating an AI Phil, you could keep Punxsutawney at the center of Groundhog Day but in a much more progressive way. Talk about taking your town’s annual tradition in a fresh and innovative direction.”
The group said that children today are more intrested in terabytes vs seeing a nocturnal rodent pulled into a fake hole.
This, “isn’t even worthy of a text message, ” said the group, and, “Ignoring the nation’s fast-changing demographics might well prove the end of Groundhog Day.”
To read the full letter click here: https://www.peta.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Groundhog-Day-Letter.pdf