In a story published yesterday, ABC News profiled longtime vegans and Tesla shareholders Elizabeth Farrell and Mark Peters regarding the couple’s plea to have the car manufacturer go cruelty-free. The piece uses the duo to spotlight the entrenchment of leather in the automotive industry and finds that 78 percent of new cars come standard with leather on at least one trim level. By using car-buying site Edmunds.com, ABC News found 79 cars—namely Toyota Prius hybrid, BMW 3 Series, and the Volkswagen Jetta—that could be purchased leather-free at all levels. While stock options can be made vegan, once customers upgrade to features such as heated seats and premium packages, leather seats, steering wheels and dashboards become necessary. According to ABC, “A vehicle interior usually requires two or three hides; some high-end luxury vehicles, like the Rolls Royce Phantom, use as many as nine.”
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