The New York Independent

Nicole Richie Circus Fashion Shoot Pushes PETA Hot Button (Photos!)

Nicole Richie poses at a circus for a high fashion spread in Elle’s Australian edition. (Photo: Justin Coit for Elle)

Nicole Richie, who has fallen in and out of favor with animal rights groups over the years, could be heading for the dog house again. Her new fashion shoot took place at a circus with an animal cage in the background.

Alleged abuse of circus animals has been a big hot button issue for groups like PETA and other animal rights organizations.

In fact, a few years ago, Richie tweeted her support of a PETA campaign to stop Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from allegedly abusing its elephants.

The group, known formally as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, gently chided Ritchie in 2010 because her father brought an elephant as a “surprise” to her wedding to Joel Madden.

Apparently, Richie really likes elephants.

“We asked her to make sure that exotic animals would be kept off her guest list for future celebrations, the group said in a statement.

Nicole Richie Runs Away to the Circus
(Click Photos to Enlarge!)

“After all, Nicole loves elephants and has drawn attention to the way that Ringling abuses babies. Plus, the members of the Madden family are great favorites at the PETA offices.”

This time around, Richie appears in a photo spread at a circus for the upcoming Australian edition of Elle magazine.

The 32-year-old socialite, fashion designer and former reality television star poses with a circus wagon with heavy iron bars–the kind used to hold animals–in the background.

There’s also a large ball in photo, which are often used in elephant acts.

In another photo, Nicole wears what appear to be ostrich and peacock feathers– another PETA hot button–as part of her outfit.

The group opposes the use of feathers, furs and other animal parts for clothing.

The clothes are part of Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2014 line, according to the magazine.

Nicole was once Public Enemy No. 1 for animal rights groups. In 2006, PETA voted her and reality show sidekick Paris Hilton the worst dressed celebrities because they wore furs.

“This pelt-wearing party girl is all animal skin and bones,” the animal rights group said. “She’s an incredible shrinking woman with the heart to match.”

Looks like she may be backsliding again.

Check out her photos, let us know your thoughts and follow TheImproper on Twitter for the latest celebrity news.

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