People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to free its famous groundhog and use a robotic animal to stop what it views as cruelty to Phil. In response, the town insists that Phil lives a better life than most children in Pennsylvania — which raises some serious questions about the lives of kids in that state that live below the standards of a large caged rodent.
Much like the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day, PETA appears locked into an endless loop of gimmick protests designed solely to gain press. In this case, it insists that caging a groundhog and exposing him once a year to lights and crowds is cruel punishment.
Of course the statement of William Deeley, president of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, that Phil is “being treated better than the average child in Pennsylvania” raises its own bizarre questions about childcare in the state.
What PETA is missing is that Phil does not simply come out of the cage but is allowed to drive and interact on the big day:
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