Food company Nabisco recently redesigned the packaging of 116-year-old snacks Barnum’s Animal Crackers to depict wild animals roaming free. In 2016, animal-rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) entered into discussions with Nabisco to remove the circus boxcars previously depicted on its packaging to send a message that wild animals should not be exploited for entertainment. The company’s new packaging is symbolic of growing public awareness around the cruelty inherent in the circus industry. Last year, after pressure from various animal-rights groups and declining ticket sales, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed after 146 years in operation. “PETA has been, since its inception, determined to end the cruelty to animals at Ringling Bros. circus by protesting almost every show that it ever put on, and by showing videos and photographs from inside the circus that revealed severe abuse and deprivation in what was the saddest show on Earth for wild animals,” Ben Williamson, Senior International Media Director for PETA, told VegNews. “The new box perfectly reflects our society’s evolving values that no longer tolerate the caging and chaining of wild animals for circus shows.”

Photo courtesy of Trent Musho