Depending where you live or how big your family is, a car is an absolute necessity. And even if you live in a place where it’s not completely unnecessary, it sure is convenient. But there are factors about cars that are beyond our control. Not only do they emit a wide range of gases and solid matter that contribute to climate change, but the production of a car usually intersects with cruel industries like leather.

Michelle Neff explains the environmentally damaging way leather is produced as follows: “Once the hide or skin has been harvested from the slaughtered animal, there is a three-stage process it must undergo to become leather. The remaining flesh is scraped away and the hairs removed, after which the skin is treated (tanned) to ensure it doesn’t decompose. The skin is then thinned, re-tanned, lubricated, and, if required, dyed. This process uses several chemicals and toxins including ammonia; cyanide-based dyes, formaldehyde; and lead. Some of these products are carcinogenic, and all are environmental pollutants, which end up released into the air, ground, and water supply. These processes are especially polluting in countries where environmental regulations aren’t enforced.

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Basically, your standard typical car isn’t eco-friendly and it’s not just because of the carbon emissions. But slowly, there are changes being made. Leading car makers Tesla have been making completely leather-free cars for a couple years now and electric cars are becoming more common. The United States even got its first fully electric gas station recently.

If there is a car maker that doesn’t get any more American though, it’s Ford. That’s why it’s good news that Ford is making environmentally friendly changes because other car producers are likely to follow closely behind. A type of Ford car that is especially popular is the Mustang, and the latest addition is both completely electric and vegan!

It will likely receive some criticism because of this, and many are already saying it’s not a true Mustang, but Ford insists that it is indeed one of their signature “Pony” cars. Brittany Moss, a color and materials designer at Ford said: “We wanted it to be an animal-free product,” explaining that they’re trying to attract a certain kind of customer. Ford is clearly keeping up with what people want because studies show that consumers do indeed care about environmental issues.

We hope other car makers follow suit and make the shift to more eco-friendly production methods, as well as reducing the environmental impact of the cars they make!

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