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PETA Finally Frees Animal Crackers from Their Cages

SourceAfter more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of animal crackers are roaming free.

Mondelez International, the parent company of Nabisco, has redesigned the packaging of its Barnum’s Animals crackers in response to pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

PETA, which has been protesting the use of animals in circuses for more than 30 years, wrote a letter to Mondelez in the spring of 2016 calling for a redesign. …

“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. …

[T]he new boxes feature a zebra, elephant, lion, giraffe and gorilla wandering side-by-side in a grassland. …

PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman says she’s celebrating the box redesign for the cultural change it represents.

“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,” she said.

You might be tempted to say, “Well then. That solves that. The last of our societal problems. Now that PETA has gotten Nabisco to stop putting their animal-shaped baked goods into cardboard boxes with cage motifs on them, the utopia we always dreamt of is here at last!” But I disagree.

I think this does not go far enough. We are on the verge of creating a paradise here and this is no time for half measures. All the cookie boxes with animal species wandering side-by-side in a grassland means nothing as long as kids are still eating these majestic creatures (in cookie form). Think of the inherent cruelty of a child biting the head off an elephant rendered in processed flour. You might as well be an ivory trader. Devour a majestic, high-fructose lion and you might as well be the dentist who shot Cecil. Hand a child a giraffe cracker and you might as well be paving over its natural habitat. And don’t get me started on poaching the noble Animal Cracker gorilla, you Harambe killer.

But I don’t want to be too hard on PETA, because this is a good first step. Animal Cracker boxes with cage bars drawn on them are a gateway snack that leads to real cages and inhumane treatment. Changing the boxes is the Sara McLoughlin song that will end the cruelty forever. When a zebra-shaped cookie is not free, then no creature is truly free.