People love animal crackers — that’s nothing to debate. The iconic cracker reminds us of childhood, and is also a welcome and popular break room snack at work. Even though the treats are available in plenty of different packages, the classic red box is definitely one of the most beloved. That may explain why certain people aren’t feeling the animal cracker box’s most recent makeover.
If you’re unaware, animal crackers changed their design after experiencing pressure from PETA. The original box showed circus animals separated in cages, but the new one shows them united as a team and free in their natural habitat. It almost looks as though a few of them are smiling.
Animal crackers were first produced in York, Pennsylvania. Roughly three decades later, in 1902, they were rebranded as “Barnum’s Animals” to tie them to the circus of the same name. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was founded in 1871 and quickly became quite popular. So at the time, the animal cracker branding change made a lot of sense.
However, it became apparent that the circus often mistreated their performance animals. It was a serious issue — especially since animals like elephants deserve to live a free life in the wild. For that very reason, Ringling Bros. closed up shop in 2017, after 146 years of shows. Yet, since the animal crackers remained, PETA hoped that the animals drawn on the box would gain the same freedom that the real animals eventually received.
Here are just some of the many happy tweets regarding the brand new animal crackers box:
Free Range animal crackers!— Jen (@jenihana) August 21, 2018
But seriously...as a former zookeeper, I approve of this change.
Some are saying @PETA wasted time, money, and effort pressuring Nabisco to free the animals from the circus on Animal Crackers. I disagree. Children will no longer think it's OK to put animals in cages. Well done PETA. Thank You Nabisco. It's never too late to change. pic.twitter.com/8KZts5YG7N— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) August 21, 2018
I’m going to buy a box of animal crackers today. Thank you Nabisco and Mendelez for redesigning the box. Good work PETA.— Rose & Co (@kaholarose) August 21, 2018
But still, not all animal cracker fans are happy about the redesign:
I am all for people fighting for positive change in this world, but the fact that an organization spent any time at all working on dumb shit like this is amazing to me. Aren't there more important animal issues, real living ones, that we can tackle? #PETA pic.twitter.com/0GLCrvRUoo— Joshua Suchanek (@LottSuchanek) August 21, 2018
Maybe those animal crackers were behind bars for a reason— Rebel Elle™ (@RealRebelElle) August 22, 2018
Oh thank God! I was so worried about these fictional animals in their fictional cages. Now they're free to roam the fictional plains, where the fictional lion can tear the fictional zebra to shreds. https://t.co/itSruI7Kia— The Cain Gang (@THEHermanCain) August 21, 2018
What is this world coming to? Seriously peta get a life. After 116 years you get your panties in a bunch over an image of animals in a cage on a box? These were my favorite animal crackers growing up but I refuse to buy a box until Nabisco grows a pair. DUMB! #freethefakeanimals pic.twitter.com/IN29CoFVeU— PETERSON PERFORMANCE (@PETERSONIHFARMS) August 22, 2018
They uncaged the animals on the animal crackers box. There are real issuas all over the world, but yeah this is totally newsworthy...— Kristen (@Kica333) August 23, 2018
In today’s world, sure — maybe the redesign isn’t totally newsworthy. But it’s still a great way to show kids that animals shouldn’t be kept in cages for our amusement. Plus, any small change like this is a step in the right direction for animal rights. And one thing’s for sure — it probably inspired you to add animal crackers to your grocery list this week.