During Tesla's annual shareholder meeting back in June 2015, CEO Elon Musk vowed that he'd look into using animal-free leather in his vehicles.
Well, just over six months later and Musk has seen that consideration to fruition, teaming with PETA to outfit Tesla's upcoming Model X SUV with vegan leather.
The animal rights group couldn't be happier, either, telling Tech Times that it is proud to collaborate with Tesla and hopes that other automakers follow the electric-car company's lead of staying away from animal leather.
"PETA hopes to continue to further reduce Tesla's carbon footprint and enhance its focus on sustainability by using vegan leather free of mass animal cruelty," PETA's senior corporate liaison Anne Brainard said, when reached over the phone Friday. "PETA is calling on all automakers to follow Tesla's lead to use vegan leather."
Although the vegan leather will be used in Tesla's highly-anticipated Model X, it remains to be seen whether Musk will have all the company's vehicles using the animal-free synthetic leather in the near future.
In a blog post on PETA's website, the animal rights organization reports that "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."
It adds that the production of such animal leathers wastes up to 15,000 gallons of water per ton of hides, while generating massive amounts of carbon emissions, which affect climate change. Also, slaughtered cows for leather endure everything from branding to dehorning and castration without painkillers.
Will vegan leather for cars catch on?