Trader Joe’s Nixes Circus Artwork After PETA Appeal

Grocer Nabs Elephant-Shaped Vegan Chocolates in Thanks for Redesigning Product Packages

For Immediate Release:
September 20, 2019

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Monrovia, Calif.

Following years of urging by PETA, Trader Joe’s has redesigned the packages of its toilet paper, Bamba peanut snacks, and organic peanut butter so that they no longer feature images of elephants in circus settings or performing circus-style tricks. In thanks, PETA has sent the company a box of delicious, elephant-shaped vegan chocolates.


“The new designs at Trader Joe’s perfectly reflect that our society no longer tolerates beating elephants into submission for circus shows,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA looks forward to seeing other compassionate companies follow Trader Joe’s lead and ditch old-school imagery that normalizes cruelty to animals.”  


In its correspondence with Trader Joe’s, PETA pointed out that in nature, elephants spend their time roaming vast spaces, foraging, or playing with their families. In circuses, it’s standard practice to beat, shock, chain, and whip elephants, lions, bears, and other animals in order to intimidate them into performing confusing and painful tricks. Circuses tear baby animals away from their mothers, lock animals in cages and on chains, and cart them from city to city.


The Trader Joe’s redesign comes roughly one year after discussions with PETA prompted Nabisco to redesign its Barnum’s Animals Crackers package to show animals walking free in nature, rather than caged in circus boxcars.


PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit 

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind