After more than a century behind the bars, the animals roam around boxes of animal cages.
Mondelez International, the parent company of Nabisco, has redesigned the packaging of its Barnum & # 39; s Animals crackers in response to pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
PETA, who has been protesting against the use of animals in circuses for over 30 years, wrote a letter to Mondelez in the spring of 2016 asking for a redesign.
"Given the flagrant cruelty inherent in circuses used by animals and the swelling of the public against the exploitation of animals used for entertainment, we urge Nabisco to update its packaging to show animals that are free. to wander around their natural habitat, "said PETA. in his letter.
Mondelez agreed and started working on a redesign. In the meantime, the namesake circus of the crackers – Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey – folded forever. The 146-year-old circus, which had removed elephants from its shows in 2016 due to pressure from PETA and others, was closed in May 2017 due to slow ticket sales.
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The redesign of the boxes, now in the American shop shelf, preserves the familiar red and yellow colors and prominent Barnum's Animals & # 39; letters. But instead of showing the animals in cages – which implies they are traveling in a boxcars for the circus – the new boxes have a zebra, elephant, lion, giraffe and gorilla that roam side by side in a grassland. The circumference of acacia trees can be seen in the distance.
"When PETA contacted Barnum, we saw this as a great opportunity to keep this brand modern and contemporary," said Jason Levine, Mondelez's marketing director for North America, in a statement.
Mondelez is based in Illinois, which has passed a ban on elephant circuses throughout the state and entered into force in January. More than 80 American cities have completely or partially banned circuses with wild animals, according to Animal Defenders International.
PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman says she celebrates the redesign of the box for the cultural change that it represents.
"The new box for crackers from Barnum's Animals perfectly reflects the fact that our society no longer tolerates the caging and chaining of wild animals for circus performances," she said.
Nabisco has been making crackers from Barnum & # 39; s since 1902. It has redesigned its boxes before, but only for special editions in limited time. In 1995, it offered an endangered species collection that raised money for the World Wildlife Fund. In 1997, it offered a zoo collection that raised money for the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. And in 2010, it worked with designer Lilly Pulitzer on a pastel-colored box that raised money for the preservation of tigers.
The company will not say how many boxes it sells every year.
Canadian boxes already had a different design and were not affected.