What did he do now? It's really about what he hasn't done.
Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk is certainly no stranger to controversy. Whether it's lighting up on the Joe Rogan Experience, calling a scuba diver who saved trapped Thai boys a pedophile or allegedly breaking the law, which forced a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation that resulted in him being stripped of his role as Tesla chairman, Musk frequently seems to find himself in the hot seat.
Let’s face it, the guy has an interesting track record. But at the same time, his mission to make electric vehicles more mainstream is not only noble, it’s also working. Just a few short years ago, EVs were still deemed as inefficient for daily needs. Things are very different today. Musk believes EVs can play a huge role in limiting carbon emissions, so it’s obvious he cares deeply about the environment.
However, animal agriculture is responsible for 14 to 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, and that includes contributions from the leather industry. That’s why leather upholstery is no longer available on new Teslas (it’s been replaced by a vegan leather that’s reportedly more durable). There still remains, however, one exception: Tesla's steering wheels, which are still leather-wrapped. Musk promised that all future models will be 100 percent leather-free starting next year, including the new Model Y. But is this still the plan?
That’s what a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) representative plans to ask company executives at Tesla’s annual meeting this week.
Chances are Musk will be in attendance. While Tesla undoubtedly deserves praise for replacing cowhide leather with an environmentally friendly and cruelty-free synthetic alternative, the job is still not complete, according to PETA and anyone else who understands real environmentalism.
"Elon Musk is well aware that the leather industry is as toxic to the Earth as it is cruel to cows,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in a press release. "PETA is calling on Tesla to stand by its pledge to make its Model Y completely vegan and to steer clear of leather in all its models.”