Nabisco ‘Frees’ Its Animal Crackers After a PETA Protest

Roam free, animal crackers!

The cookie boxes belonging to snacking stalwart Nabisco are getting a redesign to remove the bars that caged the circus animal-shaped treats, thanks to a push from animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA.

The little cardboard animal cracker boxes used to depict circus animals in boxcars with bars on them. Now, the packaging design will show a zebra, elephant, lion, giraffe and gorilla running free and living in harmony in what appears to be an African savanna.

The newly-designed boxes are on sale now.

PETA had written to Nabisco parent company Mondelez (MDLZ) with a mockup design without bars and an explanation that circuses often mistreat animals. Illinois, where Mondelez has its headquarters, became the first U.S. state to ban circuses with elephant shows at the start of this year.

“The new box for Barnum’s Animals crackers perfectly reflects that our society no longer tolerates the caging and chaining of wild animals for circus shows,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman told the Associated Press.

The animal crackers’ box has been refreshed over the course of its 110-plus-year history. A spokesperson for Mondelez told USA Today, “It’s probably one of, if not the oldest, (product) in our portfolio. We’re always looking to see how to keep it modern, to keep it contemporary with customers.”

Officially called Barnum’s Animals, the crackers are a nod to the now-defunct Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, once the “greatest show on earth.” Animal rights activists played a role in the 147-year-old circus’ demise, as did the public’s changing tastes. The cookies, however, are still tasty.

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