Trader Joe’s to Remove Circus Imagery from Products at PETA’s Request

updated Oct 1, 2019
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PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is an organization often at odds with the food industry — their sometimes extremist views on veganism and the portrayal of animals in products and media have not always been met with open arms. But when they aren’t trying to get people to leave the pigs out of the saying “bring home the bacon,” they sometimes accomplish the tiny, important image victories that nobody else is fighting. Today’s case in point, as reported by SFGate, is that Trader Joe’s will be removing the circus imagery that currently decorates some of their products.

According to PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement, Rachel Mathews, “The new designs at Trader Joe’s perfectly reflect that our society no longer tolerates beating elephants into submission for circus shows.” While it could be argued that what was actually depicted on the boxes of peanuts, peanut butter, and toilet paper was not exactly that, there is much to be said about decorating products — especially those that are not particularly closely tied to such things — with images that glorify outdated traditions in a nostalgic fashion. 

From the Trader Joe’s side of things, there is not yet a set date to make the changes, but according to PETA CEO, Dan Bane, when Trader Joe’s sells through the current batches, the products will be restocked with new imagery. While PETA mostly made a name for itself with its treatment of celebrities wearing fur coats and restaurants that serve foie gras, it won its first major battle with circus imagery last year when Nabisco took the long-running illustrations of animals in cages off their boxes of circus animals.

Although the changes in both Nabisco and Trader Joe’s cases are small, it seems like a no-brainer if it makes even a small difference in the lives of animals.