After over 116 years the makers of animal crackers have made a bold move. If you take a look at the companies newer boxes, the animals depicted are no longer in cages. They are instead appearing to be uncaged and free ranging.
The move by the makers of animal crackers, Nabisco, came after considering pressure from the group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). For years, the boxes of crackers depicted animals in very small cages.
In 2016, PETA wrote a letter to Nabisco, calling for the company to remove the caging on the packaging:
“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.”
Nabisco heard PETA’s request and moved to update their packaging in response. The boxes retained the familiar red and yellow colors, with the phrase Barnum’s Animals across the top. However, now you will see a zebra, an elephant, a lion and a giraffe uncaged, and allowed to free range on the front of the boxes. These new boxes depicting the animals as cage-free are already in stores and on shelves.
Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey, the crackers namesake circus, after a 146-year run, finally closed up its tents in 2017, due to slow ticket sales. It is believed that when the circus removed elephants from its featured shows in 2016, due to fevered pressure from PETA and others, that the circus profits began to decline. A short year later, they closed down for good.
PETA’s Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman stated:
“The new box for Barnum’s Animal crackers perfectly reflects that our society no longer tolerates the caging and chaining of wild animals for circus shows.”
Nabisco has been making and distributing Barnum’s Animal crackers since 1902.