Famous Crackers Won't Show Circus Animals In Cages Anymore

Everyone's wild 👏👏👏

So many of us grew up eating animal crackers and remember them as a fun, delicious snack — but for more than 100 years, the packaging of these treats depicted animals being carted around in cages. While a drawing on a box of cookies may not seem like a big deal to some, it painted a picture of what many circus animals are forced to deal with on a daily basis. 

However, Mondelez International and Nabisco, the companies that manufacture Barnum’s Animal Crackers, have finally seen the light, and have officially debuted their new, cruelty-free packaging today. 

The organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has been pleading with Mondelez International for years to change its packaging that very openly promoted circuses, and the company finally agreed to a redesign. The classic old packaging showed lions, polar bears, gorillas and elephants sitting behind bars. Now, instead of animals in cages, the new packaging shows a zebra, an elephant, a lion, a giraffe and a gorilla roaming free together in the wild. 

While it may seem like a small gesture, the redesign helps promote a new reality in which circuses are a thing of the past. In May 2017, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus officially shut its doors for good, after receiving years of backlash for the way it treated its animals. 

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

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is now a thing of the past, but there are many circuses that are still in practice and mistreating animals in a big way. Something as simple as changing the packaging on a popular cookie box will hopefully set a strong example for children and everyone else that the mistreatment of animals in circuses is simply unacceptable, and may even set us on the path of eventually abolishing the practice all together.