By Bianca M. Caraza, Global Animal

Benedict XVI rides in the popemobile. Photo Credit: Associated Press/ Gregorio Borgia

(ANIMAL RIGHTS/ ANIMAL WELFARE — ROME) Pope Benedict XVI is the connection between the creator and His faithful followers. He wears white robes and is driven around in a sweet Benz—the popemobile. But members of PETA as well as devout Catholics everywhere are asking the leader of the church to consider going completely green in his choice of vehicle.

The pope has many vehicles, several donated to the Vatican on his behalf, but the white modified Mercedes-Benz with an elevated, bulletproof seat for viewing pleasure is definitely the most famous. While the Vatican has already confirmed that Mercedes-Benz has plans underway for a new, more environmentally friendly hybrid version of the popemobile that would replace the current car, animal lovers are still not satisfied. June 22, PETA spokeswoman Ashley Gonzalez wrote a letter to the Vatican, asking for a special addition to the new vehicle—a popebile sans leather.

Leather seats may be a wonderful status symbol for car owners, but there’s that painful problem of how it’s made. In the letter, Gonzalez is quoted as saying on the subject that leather is not only, “toxic to the environment, it’s also hell for cows.”

The Vatican’s office, who has yet to see the letter, could not comment.

An environmentally friendly and leather-free car would be the ultimate piece of green tech. Not only would it be amazing for the pope to drive a completely green car, but it would also inspire faithful Catholics throughout the world to truly “work and keep” the land and remember to conserve on behalf of the planet and the animals that make it their home.

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