Punxsutawney Phil predicts early spring despite PETA’s protest

The+president+of+the+Inner+Circle+proudly+holds+up+Phil+over+a+large+crowd+on+Groundhog+Day+February+2%2C+2013.

Anthony Quintano [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

The president of the Inner Circle proudly holds up Phil over a large crowd on Groundhog Day February 2, 2013.

Jacob Toth, Staff Writer

Since 1886, Groundhog Day has been a tradition in Punxsutawney, Pa. This year, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, and that means early spring is coming! Whether this is just a legend or actually true, it is an annual tradition that puts millions of eyes on Gobbler’s Knob.

The fact that Phil predicted an early spring wasn’t the big news, though. Before the big day, PETA called upon the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club to stop using a live groundhog and instead use a robot groundhog.

“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 groundhogs there to dig, burrow, or forage,” PETA said. (Sam Ruland, USA Today)

When asked if they agree with PETA about using a robot, many students had similar opinions.

Senior Vishnu Nair said, “People should stop being so sensitive and get over it.”

Nair also said he’s “hoping for an early spring.”

When I asked another student how they felt about this subject, senior Erin Dublin said: “I feel that PETA is trying to take the history out of Groundhog Day. Phil lives in luxury every other day of the year until he gets bothered for five minutes on Groundhog Day. Although I do want an early spring, we live in Pittsburgh and the weather is unpredictable.”

Senior Parker Loera said, “I think it is ridiculous that PETA is offended by a tradition that has been going on for 130 plus years. If anything, the groundhog probably lives the best life of any groundhog and is treated well. Some people are soft nowadays.”

Senior Tommy DiRienzo said, “I think they should keep the groundhog because it’s a Pennsylvania tradition like no other.”

Time will tell whether or not the tradition will continue as is and if, in fact, Phil’s prediction will come true.