Nabisco ‘Frees’ Its Animal Crackers From Captivity After PETA Protest

Photo: Kirk McKoy / Contributor (Getty)

It’s been nearly a century since the zoo creatures on boxes of Nabisco’s iconic animal crackers roamed freely, imprisoned behind their illustrated cages and teaching kids it’s alright to bite the heads off of caged animals. But thanks to pressure from PETA, Mondelez International, the company behind Barnum’s Animal crackers, has decided to “free” the circus acts with the announcement of a redesign of their famed box.

PETA has been protesting the use of animals in the circus for more than 30 years and began writing Mondelez in 2016 with hopes that removing the cages from their boxes would bring attention to the abusive treatment many animals face.

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“Given the egregious cruelty inherent in circuses that use animals and the public’s swelling opposition to the exploitation of animals used for entertainment, we urge Nabisco to update its packaging in order to show animals who are free to roam in their natural habitats,” PETA said in its letter.

animal crackers

The food manufacturer agreed, while the crackers’ namesake circus, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey, shut down for good after a 146-year run, much of it due to influences from PETA, who exposed their unethical treatment of many animals.

The redesigned Barnum’s Animals boxes will not only be void of cages, which implied the creatures were traveling in a railroad boxcar but also feature a zebra, elephant, lion, giraffe and gorilla wandering side-by-side freely in a grassland with acacia trees in the background.

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“When PETA reached out about Barnum’s, we saw this as another great opportunity to continue to keep this brand modern and contemporary,” said Jason Levine, Mondelez’s chief marketing officer for North America, in a statement.

Now if they could only figure out how to stop kids from biting off their defenseless heads, everything would be alright.