When you think of luxury cars, you often think leather seats and that “new car smell” but what if you have plenty of money to spend, but don’t want it lined with animal skin? It’s a problem that plagues vegans.
For decades, leather-free options in the car industry have been limited at best. Generally speaking, buyers looking to avoid the use of animal products in their cars would have to settle for basic models with cloth seats and plastic steering wheels, but as they add options like better engines, heated seats or upgraded speakers, they’re often forced to choose leather seats.
The company reportedly created the new interior option, in part, after receiving criticism from potential customers who felt the company’s eco-friendly stance on limiting emissions made no sense when the cars included animal products.
Livestock around the world account for about 14.5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Critics argued that Tesla’s continued use of leather would be perpetuating the need for more livestock, which would release more gas.
“By offering a 100 percent leather-free car, Tesla is pushing its eco-friendly business even further into the future,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a statement. “PETA can now point to Tesla as a source for top-quality vehicles whose cruelty-free seats are as kind to the environment as its engines are.”