Is my Tattoo Vegan?!?!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tattoos. One of the oldest art forms known to man. Tattoos have had many stigmas through the centuries, and even change with the decade/year! Once used as a symbol of greatness, then to mark prisoners, then only seen on the derelicts and gypsies and such, the patterns of tattoo stigmas span centuries. Currently, it seems as though the stigmas have finally disappeared from tattoos…everyone from Punk Rockers to Famous Athletes to Soccer Moms are sporting ink, and the mainstream has become more and more acceptable each day.

I’ve been drawn to tattoos ever since I was little. I specifically remember the first time I noticed a female with a tattoo. It was Thanksgiving, and I was 6 years old. We were going to our Thanksgiving movie, a family tradition, and I specifically remember the girl working at the box office had her eyebrow pierced and a bracelet tattooed on her wrist. To this day, 20 years later, I can still remember every single detail in that tattoo as vivid as if I saw it yesterday. And from that day on, I knew that I wanted them. Now, I don’t get them for shock value or for making statements. My tattoos are all very significant and mean a great deal to me, and for the most part, are completely covered by my everyday clothing (with the exception of a small one on my forearm). Not meant to shock or draw attention to myself, but more or less to mark milestones in my life, and I see my body as my canvas.

Now, when I went vegan, I began to question everything…and I mean everything! From the liquor I drank to the jewelry I wore to the types of tools the dentists used on my teeth. And then I got that itch. That one I get every so often where I crave…body art. And then I got to thinking…is tattooing vegan?!?! Well, I did my research, and sadly, it turns out that most tattoos are not vegan, and although I couldn’t exactly go back in time to see what types of ink and dye were used in my tattoos, I was fairly certain that they probably weren’t. The fact of the matter, is that most tattoo inks (black especially) are made from burning animal bones,crushing and liquefying them…lovely, I know. What makes matters worse, is that most tattoo artists don’t even know what is always in the ink, because ink suppliers are not required by any laws or restrictions to list ingredients. Now, these dyes are the easiest to come by and are also the cheapest, but as it turns out, not a lot of tattoo artists use them anymore mainly because the pigment fades quick and as an artist, they want their work to last. Many artists have begun mixing their own dyes, so they should very well know everything that is in them if that is the case, and there is also a very popular brand (which is a little more expensive) of tattoo ink called “Stable” ink. It is vegan, and completely plant based. Most tattoo artists that use it don’t even realize it’s vegan, but use it because it really is one of the best inks on the market.

Once discovering these options for vegan tattoos, I was on the hunt to find an artist that could give me a vegan tattoo for my newest piece. Luckily, “Stable” inks are extremely popular in the Madison area, and I had a great many artists to choose from! I got really lucky in finding a great vegan tattoo artist, and I just wanted to give my inked followers a heads up for your next work of art, to call ahead, ask if the tattoo artist uses Stable Ink or mixes their own, and if you have an artist that you love that uses questionable ink…by all means ask if they can order Stable Ink for your next tattoo! You might get charged a little extra for the ink, but most places won’t have a problem doing this for you, and not only will you get a tattoo with better pigmentation, but you’ll have a truly kind piece of artwork!

My first (that I know of) 100% Cruelty-Free tattoo...honoring my heritage and worn proudly on my ribcage...isn't she beautiful?!


~pixie~ said...

wow! i didn't even think about that, but then again i am still very new to the vegan world. that is really good info to know! i think the piece you got is just gorgeous!!

Danielle said...

Thanks so much! She was my biggest and most painful piece (probably because she's right on my ribs), but I love knowing that she's cruelty-free!

AKM said...

Lovely! I'm itchin' for my next one, and I'm going to make sure it's vegan!

melissa said...

she's a beauty!!! i must ask the age old questions, "did it hurt?"

both of my tattoo's were done with stable ink, and i didn't even know it was vegan! my artist just told me it was the best. now i feel a little bit better after reading the entire article :)

Danielle said...

That's great you have "Stable" Tattoos!! The tattoo itself didn't hurt, but my arm was sore! I had to lay on it for two straight hours while propped on my side and it was numb for about 45 minutes afterward!

melissa said...

oh goodness!!

Amanda said...

Oh man, I didn't know my tattoos weren't vegan! I got them when I was a vegetarian, and didn't even think about it!

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