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Vegan Cars: How veganism and sustainability shape the latest models

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Motoring is an area of increasing interest for PETA and The Vegan Society. The former publishes a list of US-market cars that are available with fully leather-free interiors (including the steering wheel and gear-lever).

GRAHAM HOPE: We’re living in an era where everyone is more conscious of their surroundings, which has led to a spike in awareness of environmental concerns. Veganism is on the rise, because plant-based living is seen as a more sustainable way of looking after the planet, while there is more interest than ever in the origin of materials used in everyday products.

But where does this leave cars? With leather so commonly used in cabins, is it possible to make a vegan car? And what are manufacturers doing with regard to sustainable materials? We know these are real concerns for many readers, who are often confused at the advice given in showrooms.

We asked some of the country’s leading car makers three key questions:
– What are their alternatives to leather?
– Do they cater for those who want a vegan car?
– And what are they doing in terms of sustainability?

For balance, we also spoke to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Vegan Society, as well as a body which represents the interests of the leather industry…

Motoring is an area of increasing interest for PETA and The Vegan Society. The former publishes a list of US-market cars that are available with fully leather-free interiors (including the steering wheel and gearlever) on its website, peta.org, and promises that a European-market list will be published soon. It says it would consider introducing official PETA certification for cars in the UK, but as Director of Corporate Projects Yvonne Taylor acknowledges: “Because of the number of different components involved, it’s complex to certify that a car is fully vegan.”

The Vegan Society goes a step further. A spokesman told Auto Express: “The bottom line is that there’s no such thing as a 100 per cent vegan car. The rubber and plastic used for tyres is likely to be vulcanised and toughened using tallow (mutton fat). Even the steel used for the car’s frame may have been lubricated with animal fat. “The key with veganism is trying to do your best – it’s not possible to be 100 per cent vegan in this imperfect world, but we can avoid animal suffering as much as possible”…

While this is a big area of focus for manufacturers, you should research a potential purchase extensively if veganism and sustainability are major concerns for you, because the information available isn’t always particularly transparent. How do manufacturers stack up? Take a look. SOURCE…

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