The fully vegan description refers to the synthetic leather used on the seats, steering wheel and on the gear selector. Basically, the Tesla Model X doesn’t have any animal-sourced parts in it, and PETA applauds the brand’s decision to offer this alternative.
However, PETA isn’t wholly satisfied with Tesla’s newest material offering. The organization has stated that it requested the brand to reduce its carbon footprint by using only vegan leather.
While some of you are thinking, “We’re talking about the carbon footprint of a company that builds electric cars, seriously?” we must admit PETA has a point here. As it turns out, it takes around 130 chemicals to tan animal skins into the leather some of us really appreciate in their cars. Some of these chemicals are dangerous to the human body, such as cyanide, and aren’t friendly towards the Earth’s natural resources.
For each ton of hides, leather production takes up to 15,000 gallons of water. Tannery employees and people who live and work next to these facilities are affected by the chemicals used in this industry, and the cows and various animals that are killed for their skin endure horrific suffering.
We must note that Tesla has offered a textile option for its cars for a while, in case customers didn’t want leather in their electric vehicles.
PETA is a Tesla Motors shareholder and its officials requested Elon Musk to offer only vegan leather for its car interiors. The request came at the 2015 annual shareholders meeting and the CEO of Tesla said he “would absolutely consider it.”
If there’s anyone out there willing and able to change this part of the industry, we think Elon Musk is the best CEO to do so.