Animal Crackers Do Not Dismantle Capitalism And This is Problematic

Thankfully, our long, national nightmare is over. Nabisco has finally done the right thing and un-caged the animals from the design of their box of Animal Crackers. 

The move comes after a well-publicized lobbying effort on the part of PETA. In true fashion, the move just isn’t enough. It’s never enough. And this, in a nutshell, encapsulates everything that is wrong with the modern left and their way of thinking.

It’s never enough.

The picture on the left shows the box of Animal Crackers as we all remember them. The picture on the right shows the new design. These glorious creatures are now roaming free, presumably unaware that they’re going to be eaten pretty quickly but still, free nonetheless.

Normally, this would be a relatively ho-hum “news story.” I mean seriously. Who cares? In fact, if anyone cared to think about the box design of a snack food, I’ll even bet that most people would agree with the decision. After all, circuses and zoos don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to ethical treatment of animals.

But, of course, it’s never enough.

It’s. Never. Enough.

Still Problematic

In a piece written for Vox, Daisy Alioto argues that while the decision is nice, “The new art doesn’t address any of the underlying issues about ethics, exploitation, and corporate greed.”


What’s even better is that the author is actually related to the original designer. In a fact that has nothing to do with the issue at hand, (the issue is that people on the left are batsh*t crazy), we learn that the box’s original designer was her great-grandfather’s brother.

Of course, Ms. Alioto never met this relative. However, she’s pretty sure his original design was about joy and not animal cruelty. On this note, she’s probably right. Especially considering that in the early 1900’s people weren’t generally worried about how circuses and zoos treated animals. I think Ms. Alioto agrees on that point:

“Norms since those times have changed, including the public consensus around the prospect of animals being abused for entertainment.”

None of this, however, strikes at the real heart of the problem with Animal Crackers and that is the box simply doesn’t do enough to address the elements of capitalism and greed which brought us to this point. “This point” evidently being a time when we’re sufficiently woke to demand that a snack food company change the 100+-year-old box design of one of their products because it’s a little mean to animals.

Please Stop Being Crazy

If I have any message for those “on the left” so to speak, it’s this: please stop being crazy. Any good you accomplish is quickly overshadowed by (I hope) fringe elements who go a little too far. For the love of God, take the win every now and then.

Not everything is an Everest that needs to be scaled. And when you do manage to scale Everest, you don’t need to create a new mountain to put on top of it. You’ve made it to the peak. you’ve won. Take the win.

Let’s suppose you had come to me a few weeks ago and said “Hey, putting animals in cages isn’t cool. Don’t you think we should change the picture on the Animal Crackers box and let those creatures roam free?” In fairness, I would have laughed at you then too, but not as much as I am now.

I think many people could generally get on board with that though. I really do. But it quickly descends into this:

“Hey zoos and circuses are pretty awful to animals a lot of the time. Maybe having animals in cages on a children’s snack food isn’t the best thing.”

“Yeah, I can see that.”

*changes box*

“You know, this new box design is nice and all but it doesn’t really do much to unravel the capitalist system of greed and inequality that exploits animals.”

“It’s a fu**ing box of cookies.”

Not everything is racist, sexist, bigoted, homophobic, trans-phobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic, hateful, mean-spirited, angry, privileged, or a result of the evil failings of capitalism.

By the way, spellcheck doesn’t recognize the un-hyphenated spelling of trans-phobic as a word. I’m sure the patriarchy is to blame somehow and we should boycott WordPress. See you at the next march.

The point is, it’s a box of cookies. Relax. Not everything is a battle. In fact, you’ll be a much happier person if you don’t view the entirety of society and culture as a power struggle, a battle, or a war. And you know what? If you DON’T act crazy like this then far more of us will be on board with your ideas that are not insane.

Sane Society Is Embarrassed

This is where you start to lose normal people. This is something that the left, and PETA in particular, do exceptionally well. Consider, if you will, their desire to erect a monument to a few lobsters that died in Maine when a seafood truck crashed. The press release reads like an article in The Onion:

“To honor the lobsters who suffered and died when a truck carrying them overturned on Route 1 in Brunswick last Wednesday…”

“Countless sensitive crustaceans experienced an agonizing death when this truck rolled over…”

“PETA hopes to pay tribute to these individuals who didn’t want to die with a memorial urging people to help prevent future suffering…”

They even have a mock-up of what the memorial will look like:

No, this is not a joke.

When organizations with a noble purpose, such as the ethical treatment of animals, descend into lunacy they lose the support of normal, sane society which would otherwise support the broader stated goals of their organization. Of course, it’s never enough.

And it’s not enough for Nabisco to decide that removing animals from cages IN A PICTURE ON A BOX is a good idea. There’s always more that has to be done. More norms that need to be overturned. More ways to try and guilt or shame people into modifying their behavior for the good of what? Exposing the greed of capitalism? Honoring tomorrow’s lobster bisque that died today?

We live in a world with real problems and I understand that sometimes making small strides is a way to bring about a broader change. However, some of the hills people choose to die on are really stupid. This is one of them. It is not Nabisco’s job to make a commentary on the evils of capitalism. It’s also not their job to dismantle capitalism. Nor should it be.

You know what Nabisco’s job is? To sell snack foods. They do that pretty well.

However, there is one area where Nabisco COULD improve.

Make Animal Crackers Cookies

Sometimes you have to BE the change you want to see in the world. I don’t take that burden lightly. I have no interest in seeing Nabisco dismantle capitalism. However, I WOULD like them to stop calling them Animal “Crackers.” Because let’s be honest: they’re cookies.

To that end, I have started a petition at to lobby Nabisco to formally recognize “Animal Crackers” as “cookies.”

Let’s make snack food honest again. Sign the petition below

Formally Recognize Animal Crackers As Cookies

It’s an uphill battle to be sure, but it’s probably easier than asking them to dismantle the system that has lifted more people out of hardship, poverty, and suffering than the entirety of all systems conceived by humanity in history.

It’s about baby steps.


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