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PETA's latest anti-fur celebrity spokesmodels: Atlanta Falcons star Tony Gonzalez and his wife, October

November 16, 2009 |  4:08 pm

GonzalezPETA certainly has its issues with certain NFL stars who shall remain nameless. But one major sports star -- who just so happens to play for that nameless player's former team, the Atlanta Falcons -- is certainly in the animal-rights group's good graces.

Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez and his wife, October, are just the latest celebrities to pose for PETA; their anti-fur ad, in which they're covered up (just barely) by the tagline "We'd rather go naked than wear fur," was released recently to considerable fanfare. (For the record, Gonzalez told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the two "had clothes on" during the photo shoot -- but if that's the case, the clothes were certainly skimpy.)

"We should be protecting animals, not sacrificing their lives for the sake of fashion or luxury," Gonzalez explained of the couple's motivation to work with PETA. "October and I have changed many of our habits in light of the inhumane treatment of animals that occurs not only in the fur industry but also on factory farms." (Gonzalez was briefly vegan, but told the Associated Press that he reintroduced some animal products to his diet after he lost more weight than he intended. "I eat a little meat now, but it comes from clean sources: grass-fed cows, free-range chickens, wild fish, stuff like that," he said. "I'm OK with it as long as you do it humanely.")

In his interview with the Associated Press, Gonzalez said he is "usually not a political person," but was shocked by horrific imagery PETA showed him of animals killed for their fur. "The pictures I saw were pretty gruesome, pretty cruel," he said. "If done the right way, maybe. But done the way I saw it, it's definitely inhumane."

Gonzalez is an NFL record holder for single-season receptions by a tight end, career receptions by a tight end and career touchdowns by a tight end and has been selected for the Pro Bowl 10 times.

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-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Associated Press

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