Tesla Launches All-Vegan Car After PETA Appeal

CEO Elon Musk Makes Good on Promise to Explore Vegan Car Interiors, Now Offers Leather-Free Option for New SUV

For Immediate Release:
January 14, 2016

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

When PETA, a Tesla Motors shareholder, spoke at Tesla’s 2015 annual meeting to urge the company to offer only vegan leather for its car interiors, CEO Elon Musk said he would “absolutely” consider it. Since then, PETA has been working with Tesla, and in December 2015, the electric-car leader launched Model X—its highly anticipated SUV—which is available with a fully vegan interior, including seats, steering wheel, and gear shift.

“By offering a 100 percent leather-free car, Tesla is pushing its eco-friendly business even further into the future,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “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.”

In its discussions with the company, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—pointed out that Tesla could reduce its carbon footprint by using only vegan leather. Turning animal skins into leather requires 130 different chemicals, including cyanide, and people who work in and live near tanneries suffer from exposure to these toxic chemicals. Leather production also squanders valuable natural resources, including up to 15,000 gallons of water per ton of hides, and produces massive amounts of the carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. And, of course, cows killed for leather endure branding, tail-docking, dehorning, and castration—all without painkillers.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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“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