Groundhog Day 2014
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

NotMilk.com
February 2014

On average, groundhogs weigh a little over five pounds when they emerge from hibernation in the spring. After a summer of eating, September weights can soar to ten pounds. The largest wild (free and un-caged) groundhog weighed in at fourteen pounds!

Bill Deeley, the local funeral home director who emcees Punxsutawney's much-publicized Groundhog Day Festival and sees to Phil's needs 365 days out of the year, had this to say about Phil's diet: "He's naturally a vegetarian. But he loves ice cream andstrawberry sundaes."

Phil, the ground-cow, weighs in at 15 pounds and measures 22 inches in length.

State Trooper: "Pal, you got that moisture on your head. Now you can go back to Punxsutawney, or you can go ahead and freeze to death. It's your choice. So what's it gonna be?"
- Bill Murray: [pauses] "I'm thinking."
- Groundhog Day

The January 14, 2014 issue of the Journal of Biotechnology reports a Groundhog experiment in which hellish conditions were created by Chinese scientists at the microbiology lab of Heilongjiang University in Harbin, China. Scientists combined portions of the woodchuck hepatitis virus with green fluorescence proteins and created groundhogs that could forever see their own ghoulish shadows. Hopefully, that is not what spectators witness today in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

As today's column is being composed, people standing in Gobblers Knob awaiting the appearance of a groundhog named Phil are trying to stay warm in 18 degree temperatures with real-feel temperatures around zero.

There will be light snow and Phil might not see his shadow, but that would mean winter is finally over. New Jersey temperatures will soar into the 50s, for a nice Spring-like Super Bowl Day. Twelve hours of pre-game coverage will begin at 6AM by the FOX television network. There is an option for television viewers.

Millions of people unable to attend today's ceremony can watch the best romantic comedy ever made. From Staten Island to Saddle Brook, from Oshkosh to Savannah, folks will be treated to the Groundhog day film every 2.5 hours on the AMC channel beginning at 10 AM, EST. The movie is brilliantly entertaining. I may watch it more than once.

It has not been a peaceful hibernation for north of the Border groundhogs. Canadian scientists at the Molecular Virology and Hepatology Research Group, Division of Biomedical Sciences, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland have been injecting these gentle creatures with multiple doses of hepatitis virus, just for the heck of it.

Their research was published in the January, 2013 issue of The Journal of Virology. The groundhogs were healthy before being exposed to scientists with evil intent. In their scientific abstract, the researchers refer to their experimental subjects and method this way: "Virus-na´ve animals were intravenously injected with 6 weekly doses..."

There will be no more winters or springs for these Canadian groundhogs.

It has also been a brutal winter for Punxsutawney Phil. The weather has been wonderful, but little snow means that Phil's been awake, and his handlers delight in feeding Phil ice cream, a not-so natural rodent food.

Two hours from now at approximately 7:20 AM, a groundhog will trek to Gobbler's Notch to make his official weather forecast. Today's celebration will mark the 128th consecutive year that Groundhog Day has been celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Come sunshine, rain, or snow, the groundhog's keeper has assured us that their little rodent will see some sort of shadow due to his enormously fattened bulk, even though it's cloudy and snowing lightly in Punxsutawney as this message is being posted at about 3 AM.

The fix is in. They've been feeding him ice cream during the "off season". Phil skipped his usual hibernation this year due to the mildest winter in memory.

This past year, American consumers have been presented with the dairy industry argument that consuming dairy products helps people to lose weight, which makes absolutely no sense, but makes for great press by those whose job it is to deceive America into consuming milk.  

On average, groundhogs weigh a little over five pounds when they emerge from hibernation in the spring. After a summer of eating, September weights can soar to ten pounds. The largest wild (free and un-caged) groundhog weighed in at fourteen pounds!

The bigger news has nothing to do with the weather. It's why Punxsutawney Phil has become the Holstein cow of groundhogs. He's the pig of little furry hibernators. What has Phil been munching on all winter while observing his dairy-based weight loss program? Ice cream! The root of our groundhog's obesity ain't roots. It's dairy!

Bill Deeley, the local funeral home director who emcees Punxsutawney's much-publicized Groundhog Day Festival and sees to Phil's needs 365 days out of the year, had this to say about Phil's diet: "He's naturally a vegetarian. But he loves ice cream andstrawberry sundaes."

Phil, the ground-cow, weighs in at 15 pounds and measures 22 inches in length.

Could an overweight Phil be due to the powerful growth factors in milk and dairy products? Groundhogs should not be eating a diet of bovine growth hormones and high calorie-containing saturated animal fat. Neither should humans, for that matter.

So...eyewitnesses will see Phil spring from his burrow and report that he saw his own shadow. Winter continues for everybody. Easy on the ice cream, or you and Phil might look lousy in bathing suits next summer.

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"When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and berft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter."
- Weatherman Phil Connors, Groundhog Day


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