They're free!

A childhood favorite of mine has gotten an upgrade. After more than a century, Barnum's Animal Crackers are now roaming cage-free in a newly released redesign of its iconic packaging.

I loved animal crackers growing up and would beg my parents for a box every time we went grocery shopping. It was such a treat to have the little box of goodness to carry around and share with my brother.

As a kid, I did not put much stock into the design of the package. I was all about the cute animals on the box and the shapes inside. As an adult, however, I saw it on a whole other level.

That's why I am glad Mondelez International, parent company of Nabisco, took into consideration a call for a redesign of its iconic packaging from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

According to CBS news, PETA wrote to Mondelez in 2016 suggesting a redesign, stating in part:

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.

Mondelez agreed and started working on the redesign. These new boxes have the same iconic colors, but the animals are now shown without the 'circus cages.'

In a statement to CBS news, Jason Levine, Mondelez's Chief Marketing Officer for North America wrote:

When PETA reached out about Barnum's, we saw this as another great opportunity to continue to keep this brand modern and contemporary.

The brand has issued limited-time only redesigns before to highlight conservation efforts, but this change is permanent.

I think this new design is a wonderful example of how we as a society can move forward as times change. For me, this design still triggers a great childhood memory, but now I can share them with my grandchildren without the stigma of what it once depicted.