Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Vegan, or not Vegan.

June 29th, 2009 by

First off I do want to make it clear that I am not Vegan, in fact:

“I like mine with lettuce and tomato;
Hinze 57 and French fried potato.
A big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer.
Good god Almighty which way do I steer?”
Cheeseburger in Paradise, Jimmy Buffet.
Vegan Tattoo
All clowning around aside, I also admire the Vegan lifestyle, it’s just not me, and I have to hand it to anyone who does opt for this animal friendly way of life. On the practical side, though it’s not easy to live in our modern world as a Vegan. Not only do you live as a vegetarian, but for the most part you refuse to have anything to do with products that are made using animal parts. No leather jackets, purses, wallets, etc. No drugs that are made from animals, or foods that may contain animal byproducts….and for many Vegan tattoo enthusiasts, no ink that may contain animal byproducts. As the Vegans explain it, it’s all part of a cruelty-free lifestyle.

Now that can be very tricky since most collectors give little thought to the ingredients that go into making tattoo ink.

With the exception of hazardous materials, such as heavy metals, tattoo ink can contain everything from burnt animal bones, (Bone Black), to glycerin, which although sometimes produced from plants is more typically made using animal fats. For a Vegan this is downright unacceptable.

Even for Vegan collectors there are two sides to this ongoing argument, which I have no interest in getting in the middle of, and opposing viewpoints can be found in this article, as well as this one. Since both the authors are Vegan they have a firmer grasp of the subject than I.

I did, however research a few establishments that offer Vegan tattooing. In New York Fun City Tattoo not only employs Vegan Tattoo artists, but guarantees their Vegan inks. Scapegoat Tattooing on the west coast is pretty much the same. In a pinch you can ask your artist if he uses the following inks, which are all quite Vegan.

Pelikan black is Vegan.
Starbrite is Vegan except for their black.
Stable is all Vegan.
Eternal is all Vegan.
Waverly colors are Vegan.
Unique (Permapro) colors are Vegan.
Classic is all Vegan.

As always, it is your body, your tattoo. Never be afraid to ask your tattoo artist questions. No legitimate artist is going to be offended, and if they are…..find another artist.

Peace out, Gang!

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