Lions and tigers and bears, oh my: Peta takes aim at freeing animals from their cardboard prisons

PETA, a group scorned equally by animal rights activists, vegans, hunters, and just about everyone else, zeroed in on Nabisco’s Barnum’s Animal Crackers as their latest crusade target. The animal cracker’s classic packaging depicted circus animals in cages as a reference to Barnum and Bailey’s Circus. Now, at PETA’s request, Nabisco has removed the bars to allow the animals to roam free in an open field.

PETA is known for their outlandish displays of activism, and but despite this, their kill rate that ranges between 75-85% year after year with a 1% adoption rate. It is believed to be one of the worst kill rates of any shelter, yet they continue to pull outlandish stunts every year.

Nabisco released a statement that they removed the bars and put the animals in an open plain, stating that they are also against animal cruelty and with the end of the circus, that it was time to disassociate themselves from that idea.
PETA’s ability to shame companies can be intimidating because no company wants to appear to be against animals. Fighting PETA takes a lot of time, money, and public shaming. It’s sometimes easier to go along with what they want and attempt
to turn it into positive PR for your business, which is what it appears Nabisco has done.

There are still mixed feelings about the circus in general, and Nabisco seems to want to just stay out of it at the cost of a packaging overhaul. Some would argue that the packaging supported a dated idea that encouraged animal cruelty, but the vast majority of people see the packaging as nostalgic.

It’s almost like PETA is getting bored and running out of people to harass. Nabisco doesn’t test their product on animals. They’re not pulling animals from the wild or putting them into captivity. They’re not abusing any animals. They’re simply referencing the culture that all 80s and 90s kids know and love.

When I was a vegetarian, I never agreed with PETA. I didn’t want to associate myself with them and felt that they gave vegetarians a bad name. If someone believes in something and wants to win people over, they shouldn’t bully them or harass them but instead educate and have conversations to win people over.