Choosing a Vegan Car and Auto Accessories
The concept of veganism can go beyond a diet free from animal products. For some drivers, veganism is an entire lifestyle. And since your vehicle is an important part of your daily life, it’s understandable that vegan lifestylers would want a car that suits their ethics. Here’s a guide to buying (or modifying) your vehicle to suit a vegan lifestyle.
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If you’re choosing a new car, rest assured that you don’t have to break the bank to drive home in a model that’s free of animal byproducts. Typically, entry-level and base-trim models lack leather upholstery and leather wrapping on the steering wheel and gear shifter. Cloth seats are also an animal-free option. But if you’re looking for something a little more upscale, consider Alcantara-trimmed seating, found in Mazda models. It’s a soft, vegan-friendly suede substitute that provides the same comfort and style as genuine leather.
Also, consider what the floor mats are made of. Some floor mats have a leather backing, or contain mohair, a type of fiber sourced from the Angora goat. Vegan alternatives include synthetic materials, rubber, or plant-based alternatives from specialty manufacturers.
Unfortunately, there’s one interior component that you probably won’t be able to veganize — and that’s the infotainment system. LCD screens often contain animal-derived cholesterol, according to Veg World Magazine. Check with the manufacturer to see if your touch screen contains these byproducts.
Tires are the most notable exterior feature that contains animal-derived ingredients. Stearic acid, derived from animal stomachs, is used to give tires their strength and flexibility. Luckily for vegan drivers, some brands have committed to using plant-sourced stearic acid. Michelin has made its entire lineup vegan-friendly, while Goodyear offers vegan options.
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And while it’s not strictly a vegan issue, per se, if you can afford to go with a hybrid or electric model, you can both help the environment and trim your gas budget.
Kimiko Kidd is a native Daytonian. She graduated from Wright State University with degrees in environmental science and sociology. She loves her trusty old Honda Civic, but dreams of owning a 1974 Ford Falcon XB with a custom paint job and a vintage Kawasaki Z1000. In her free time, Kimiko can be found watercolor-painting, baking muffins, collecting rocks, playing old-school Nintendo games, writing her novel, sewing stuffed animals, and cosplaying as her favorite Mad Max characters. See more articles by Kimiko.