Four Dead Animals in Every New Mercedes CLS

The auto industry is buzzing about the new 2012 Mercedes CLS. Among its many luxurious features is a leather interior that Mercedes boasts requires four animals to create.

I don’t know about you, but to me four dead animals means a quality product! With that kind of marketing you can bet that I will be the first in line at the Mercedes dealership trying to get financed for a new CLS!

In an era when what were once fringe beliefs like veganism and animal rights are becoming more and more mainstream, when even omnivores are speaking out against fur and whaling, it demonstrates how completely out of touch a company can become when they market exclusively to the extremely wealthy.

There is a correlation between wealth and the exploitation of animals, between luxury and one’s inclination toward kindness.

There is of course a long cultural tradition of animals being used as symbols of prestige and wealth; the best example is wearing fur, which is still viewed as a sign of wealth. While factory-farming and subsidies have created an artificially low price for meat making it affordable by almost anyone, there was a time in recent human history when eating meat was exclusively reserved for the rich.

This helps to explain a cultural obsession with “luxurifying” brands and products by the inclusion of dead animals. Celebrities still flaunt their furs, upscale breweries package their beer bottles inside taxidermied squirrels, and Mercedes boldly quantifies the dead animals required to produce the interior of its new luxury car.

Luxury is defined almost entirely by wastefulness. By wasting, one can demonstrate a lack of concern for frugality, cost, or consequence. This is why meat is a luxury item no matter how cheaply it can be produced. The water, food, time, and land required to produce meat is astronomically higher than that required to produce vegetables, fruits or grains.

When we as a society begin to lose some of our concern with opulence and indulgence we can begin to see the irreversible damage we’re doing not just to ourselves, but to the animals and the planet. When we start to see animals and the planet as living entities and not exploitable commodities we will stop treating them as status symbols to kill, eat, wear, and line our cars.

Photo: Tim Dobbelaere

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Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin4 years ago

I don't want leather seats. They are really uncomfortable. I always prefer cloth in car seats, even if they last less time than leather. Being a professional driver I also sit on a cushion, not directly on the seat itself.

Carol Cowbrough
Carol Cowbrough5 years ago

Noted. Thanks.

Paul T.
Paul Thandi5 years ago

Merecedes can go F**k themselves! I owned a couple MANY years ago and they were 2 of the MOST unreliable vehicles that Ive ever owned! This is just another reason why I will NEVER buy one!!!

Shelley P.
Shelley Parsons5 years ago

I notice someone mentioned that at least we're using the entire animal by using the hides from the beef industry.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There is an entirely separate industry that produces a lot of the leather used, I'm assuming it's somehow supposed to be the finest quality, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Mercedes purchases their leather from such a place. And as the article says, for some reason a lot of people like to be able to brag about how decadent and wasteful they can be with their money.

I have never really liked leather furniture and find it to be cold and uninviting. I had one car with leather seats and hated it. At this point I don't buy anything leather - shoes, belts, purses - nothing.

If only the ridicously rich people in this world would share their wealth and not be so greedy, maybe then there would actually be enough for EVERYBODY!

Penelopa Tufis
Penelopa Tufis5 years ago

You're right:
1) "see animals and the planet as living entities and not exploitable commodities" and
2) "stop treating them as status symbols to kill, eat, wear, and line our cars".
Thank you for this piece of information!
May be it will be raised awareness about the importance of life protection and respect each other

Randall M.
Randall M.5 years ago

I personally don't like leather seats in the car. They are hot in the summer, burning your legs when you wear shorts and cold in winter where you want a barrier between you and the seat to help adjust temperature difference.

That being said, I assume the cows used in this leather production were also used for beef consumption. I am an omnivore, many creatures are carnivores and that is life on this planet. We may have choices, but we should not have the right to remove every living thing that consumes flesh. If this use is the case, at least we are using the entire animal for a purpose. It is not the fur trade where we skin the belly and leave the rest of the animal to rot. It is not the case of endangered animals nor that the carbon footprint could be outweighed by conserving elsewhere.

If Mercedes is to be criticized lets make sure they are really doing a bad thing or is this just an imagery thing?

Lisa L.
Lisa L.5 years ago

yikes.....we need to make sure we are super conscious when we make purchases on who and what was and will be affected by our decisions.

Vanessa S.
Vanessa S.5 years ago

Poor cows

SANDRA ROCHA5 years ago

Terrible for animals! Thank you Mac!!

5 years ago

When it is now recognised that the production of meat and dairy is the biggest contributor to global warming, Mercedes chooses to draw attention to something it should be keeping very quiet about. How stupid is that?