When choosing a car to buy, the interior might be the last thing on your mind. But what if you found out that the steering wheel, gearshift, or seats caused animals pain and suffering? Covering the interior of a standard car with leather requires two to three cows to be killed and skinned for their hides.

PETA’s video exposé of several cattle ranches in Brazil that supply JBS S.A., the largest leather processor in the world, revealed that cows and bulls faced unbearable torture—including face-branding with hot irons, electroshocks, beatings, and severe crowding—before they were sent to the slaughterhouse to be killed for their skin.

Cruel practices—such as branding calves’ faces without the use of painkillers—are standard procedure.

Each year, millions of cows are killed in several JBS slaughterhouses in Brazil, and their skins are sent to JBS tanneries to produce leather for the automotive, furniture, footwear, and accessories industries worldwide. JBS is connected to dozens of major car companies, including General Motors, Volkswagen, and Toyota. Imagine the fear and excruciating pain that these gentle cows suffered, just for a “luxury” seat!

According to eyewitnesses, some calves and cows suffered from bloody, untreated wounds as well as maggot infestations and swollen heads.

When cows are roughly 3 years old, workers jab them around the anus with metal-tipped sticks and electric-shock prods to pack them into crammed trucks that take them to slaughter.

Leather-Free Car Interior Options

Even if you’re not ready for a new car, you can still help cows by urging your parents or friends to select a completely vegan interior for their new cars. Opting for vegan leather reduces the demand for skins from cows, so fewer will be killed.

Currently, 13 automakers offer at least one completely vegan model that uses either vegan leather or cloth for the interior. Check out these models, which give you the option to customize your car with compassion:

BMW: i3 (Available with Deka cloth seating. To get a leather-free steering wheel, buyers must request a special order of the M Performance Electronic Steering Wheel.)

Buick: Verano

Chevrolet: Colorado, Cruze, Equinox, Impala, Malibu, Silverado, Sonic, Spark, Trax, and Traverse

Chrysler: 200

GMC: Acadia, Canyon, Sierra, and Terrain

Honda: Accord Coupe, Accord Hybrid, Accord Sedan, Civic Coupe, CR-V, CR-Z Hybrid, Fit 5 Door, HR-V, Insight Hybrid, Odyssey Minivan, Pilot SUV, and Ridgeline

Hyundai: Accent, Elantra, Santa Fe, Santa Fe Sport, Sonata, Tucson, and Veloster

Kia: Forte, Optima, Rio, Sedona, Soul, and Sportage

Mercedes-Benz: Smart Fortwo

Nissan: Altima, Juke, Leaf, Murano, NV Cargo Van, Pathfinder, Quest, Rogue, Sentra, Titan, and Versa

Tesla: Model S, Model X, and Model 3

Toyota: Camry, Corolla, Prius, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tundra, and Yaris

Volkswagen: Jetta and Passat

Please never buy or wear leather. Leather production poisons tannery workers, harms the environment, and kills animals. When shopping for a new car, opt for stylish, high-quality vegan leather or comfortable cloth and make the conscious, compassionate choice to spare animals’ lives.  

SHARE THE VIDEO