Animal Crackers are animal-shaped cookies (?) designed by carnivorous subhumans as brainwashing tools by which to corrupt innocent children who, without such indoctrination-disguised-as-treats, might become vegetarians, eschewing the abuse of the very animals they consume in the form of the diabolical snack shapes.
Lions, tigers, and bears, oh, my, are typical shapes for the so-called crackers and they are sometimes packaged in a box that resembles a circus wagon with wheels and barred windows and which is equipped with a handle on the top. In all, 37 animals have joined the animal crackers' menagerie, including the tiger, cougar, camel, rhinoceros, kangaroo, hippopotamus, bison, lion, hyena, zebra, elephant, sheep, bear, gorilla, monkey, seal, and giraffe. According to Daniel ("Oz") Osbourne, an authority on the snacks, only the monkey wears pants, the other animals remaining "naked."
To confuse matters, Animal Crackers are made like crackers, with layered dough, but they are sweetened like cookies. Critics say that the ambiguity is intentional. If the children can be confused as to whether they are consuming crackers or cookies, they can also be confused as to whether their diet should include animals or consist exclusively of fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
People for the Elevation of Transcendent Animals (PETA) urge "mothers and others" to boycott the purchase of these "cruel crackers," targeting the four biggest "offenders": Nabisco, makers of Barnum's Animal Crackers; Keebler Company; Stauffer's; and Sunshine.
In an attempt to placate PETA advocates, Nabisco, Keebler, Stauffer's, and Sunshine proposed replacing the standard zoo animals with imaginary and extinct ones, suggesting that such creatures as the fabled phoenix, the mythical roc, the extinct tyrannosaurus rex and the vanished dodo bird, and the mythological griffin, the hippogriff, the centaur, the lamia, the mermaid, and the satyr take the place of lions, tigers, bears, and other actual animals. PETA called the proposal "asinine," contending that, "real or imaginary, animals are animals," and said that it is wrong to promote them as appropriate food or clothing sources. "I wouldn't even have a hippogriff as a pet," a PETA spokesperson said, "whatever a hippogriff is."