February 2nd is Groundhog Day.
According to legend, if a groundhog sees its shadow, we can expect six more weeks of winter.
This superstitious holiday might seem innocent but celebrating it actually harms the animal it’s named after!
Here’s why you should boycott Groundhog Day!
1. Groundhogs are more than entertainment
A distant cousin of the squirrel, groundhogs are an important part of wildlife. The burrows they create and eventually abandon serve as shelter for numerous other animals such as foxes, rabbits, and raccoons.
They populate the central and northern parts of the US and Canada, where they eat vegetation and keep bad weeds at bay in our gardens.
2. They are kept in captivity
Groundhogs used as props during Groundhog Day festivities are kept in a pen their entire life.
Some famous groundhogs such as Punxsutawney Phil from Pennsylvania (where the holiday originated in the US) are forced to participate in the event yearly until they die.
3. Groundhog Day is stressful
Although entirely unscientific, the lore of Groundhog Day is still alive and well.
Unfortunately, that means it’s highly covered by media.
Reporters from all around America gather in the groundhog’s pen to get a good picture.
Groundhogs are a solitary bunch, only mating once a year around spring. This makes the commotion (and crowds) surrounding the event a great source of stress for the animal.
Last year, a groundhog at a Groundhog Day celebration at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park in Nova Scotia tried to escape and bit a reporter in the process.
Want to anticipate the arrival of spring without causing harm to animals?
Here are some great activities you can do instead!
- Go out for a walk
- Go thrift store shopping for colorful spring clothes
- Grow indoor plants
- Cook healthy meals with vibrant fruits and veggies
To learn more about how seemingly harmless activities may be exploiting animals, check out The scary truth about animals as entertainment.
What are your thoughts on Groundhog Day? Will you celebrate it this year? Let us know in the comments below!