Despite its pitch as an eco-friendly company, I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone was to find a chink in Tesla Motors’ armor. USA Today reveals that the animal rights group PETA is pressuring the auto manufacturer to no longer used animal-sourced materials (i.e. leather) for its 2019 luxury auto line. A PETA member raised the issue at a company stock holders meeting asking that the company go vegan on Tesla auto interiors.
Tesla Motors is not the only company PETA has conducted this kind of campaign on. Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus have (in one way or another) offered leather-free products resulting from PETA influence. PETA pitches this as a way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint but in reality is a means to (in their minds) stop the production and use of leather products. In addition to lobbying and conducting activities geared toward their mission, PETA owns shares in a variety of different companies it considers animal abusers in hopes of convincing them to change their policies concerning animal-related products. In the case of automakers it is to get companies to cut back on using leather for car interiors.
Instead of urging companies my suspicion is that PETA prefers to harass them in some way. If PETA was truly interested in getting Tesla to change its auto interiors all it would have to do is lobby Congress and support efforts to pull the plug on the massive amounts of government grants Tesla receives. But they won’t because renewable energy companies their cousin environmentalist organizations lobbied for benefit from the government largess too.