A well-known British singer is urging General Motors to offer vegan seats in its Chevy Volt and Bolt models.
The singer, Morrisey, is making his appeal as part of a new PETA campaign.
In a letter to CEO Mary Barra, as the Detroit Metro Times reports, the former Smiths singer wrote, “A staggering 51 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture. Animal skins also have to be treated with a toxic soup of chemicals in order to keep them from decomposing, and runoff from leather tanneries poisons vital waterways.”
The singer also cited a recent PETA investigation of the brutal conditions at Brazilian cattle ranches that supply leather not only to GM, but also Toyota and Volkswagen. The last few VW models I have reviewed had what they called “leatherette” seats, which I am told is man-made leather.
“Given that the Volt and Bolt are being marketed to eco-conscious buyers, entirely vegan options would only broaden their appeal,” wrote Morrissey.
GM spokesman Nick Richards says the company has “very specific guidelines for our suppliers that require them to follow all local laws and regulations,” in addition to prohibiting animal abuse.
“All the leather we use in our vehicles is a byproduct of some other use of the animal,” Richards said. “So those animals are not raised specifically for their leather.”
Richards also says most GM vehicles already have non-leather options.