After being locked up in hand-drawn cages for more than a century, Nabisco’s Barnum (cookie) animals are finally free. On August 21st, Mondelez International — parent company of Nabisco — announced that the classic packaging of their animal crackers will no longer depict animals in circus cages, but rather as free on the savanna.
The move was initiated by a a petition from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). In a 2016 letter addressed to Mondelez, the advocacy group said: “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.”
The move received praise from animal activists who have been fighting against animal abuse in the form of circus acts. As of 2017, 19 countries around the world have banned animal circuses completely. And last year, the Ringling Brothers Circus announced that after 146 years, they would no longer be performing.
Twitter lit up with annoyed and funny responses to the move. From one user: “The one (a) anomaly is a lion being in the midst of a group of herbivores without them panicking..” And then: “Didn’t Jurassic park have animals break free??? Just saying.”