Texan Vegan Tesla Shareholders Finally Get Their Second Animal-Free Model S

Back in June, we told you about vegan husband and wife Mark and Elizabeth Peters. Long-time Tesla fans and shareholders from Texas, both Mark and Elizabeth took the floor at this Tesla’s 2015 annual shareholder meeting to ask Tesla to stop using animal products in its luxury plug-in sports sedan.

The couple argued it was unfair that leather was a pre-requisite for high-end packages.

The couple had argued it was unfair that leather was a pre-requisite for high-end packages.

Unlike some other prestige automakers, which now use or at least offer synthetic leather in their vehicles, the couple argued that Tesla was discriminating against vegan or vegetarian customers who didn’t want animal products in their car. That’s because while cloth trim is available on the Model S, certain trim options — such as heated seats and premium lighting — require the customer to specify a leather interior.

As long-time vegans, that was something the pair said they weren’t prepared to do — and pleaded with Tesla CEO Elon Musk to change Tesla’s interior package options. With one 100 percent vegan Tesla in their garage that Tesla had previously agreed to build for them, the Peters wanted a second Model S, but weren’t prepared to buy one with leather just to get the premium features they wanted.

At the time, Musk and the rest of the board recommended shareholders vote against the pair’s proposal to remove leather completely from Tesla’s vehicles, but told the couple that Tesla would “look into it” with reference to their own particular garage.

Now we’re pleased to report that Elon Musk stayed true to his word with the news that the Peters have indeed now taken ownership of a second animal-free Model S.

Mark Peters of Texas made the environmental case for ditching leather at Teslas AGM.

Mark Peters of Texas made the environmental case for ditching leather at Tesla’s Annual Shareholder Meeting.

As Autobloggreen explains, Mark and Elizabeth had purchased a stripped-down, low-end Model S earlier this year, but weren’t happy with the lack of premium features they really wanted of a zero-emission high-end electric car. Trading their Model S in, they were eventually given the high-spec, leather-free car they really wanted.

“You have to be honest about what you learn and what you know,” Mark Peters said. “If you put your blinders on, that makes you partially responsible.”

At Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting, Mark had read a carefully prepared statement pointing out the business case for eliminating leather from Tesla’s vehicles. Aside from he carbon emissions of rearing animals simply for their hide, he argued, modern synthetic equivalents were available for a far lower financial and environmental cost.

As the world’s best-known electric automaker he implied, Tesla was simply letting itself down by offering leather.

Following on from Mark’s proposal, Elizabeth had taken to the stage to make the same plea — but from an ethical point of view. Having grown up on a farm which reared animals for meat, Elizabeth’s argument focused on the ethics of killing an animal for its meat or skin. Both, she said, were morally wrong.

While Tesla has yet to change its policy on using animal products, we’re glad to see that the automaker was at least willing to meet the Peters half way with their request, providing them with a premium-specification cloth-only Model S.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Peters cited ethical reasons for ditching leather in Tesla cars.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Peters cited ethical reasons for ditching leather in Tesla cars.

Happy with their new car, the Peters are just as enthusiastic of Tesla as they always have been. But, says Autobloggreen, they still haven’t given up on their attempts to get Tesla to change its interior design strategy.

“When we buy something, we vote with our dollars,” Mark Peters said.

So too, we’d assume do plenty of other vegans.

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