Vegan tattoos: When art is awareness

The vegan movement finds its place in tattoo culture


As you well know, veganism is a philosophy of life in which the habit of refraining from the use and consumption of food, clothing, cosmetics, medications and any another practice that includes animal exploitation in its creation.

In recent years, this lifestyle has spread worldwide and has become one of the most deeply rooted ideals of different societies. Simultaneously, more and more sectors joined the cause to provide their clients with vegan options.

The tattoo industry decided not to be left out and adopted practices that offer a cruelty-free option, so that people who supported this lifestyle did not could have an the vegan option to get a design on their skin.

The first ones to make a difference

The movement, within the tattoo culture, had three great driving cities: New York, United States, London, England and Berlin, Germany. These places took the initiative to join the diversity demanded and created suitable options for vegan people.

Barcelona and Madrid also joined with their branches of the "Alchemist's Valley", founded by Fineline style tattoo artist, María Fernández

After these pioneers in the sector, many cities in different countries joined the proposal and decided to contribute with multiple options.

What animal ingredients do conventional inks contain?

Conventional inks are called acrylic inks, which, apart from being formulated based on pigments derived from metals, they include ingredients of animal origin, such as gelatin (generated from the skin, tendons and bones of cows, pigs and birds), insect shells and burned bones. If you want to know more about it, click here in our post Tattoo inks: Composition, benefits and consequences.

Not only does its creation include animal raw material, but also the final step before entering the market: the testing phase of the products is carried out on animal skin.

This final phase is unacceptable for vegan people, since it implies the suffering of those animals involved in the production chain.

100% Vegan Tattoo Alternative

Vegan ink, also called vegetable ink, was created, as explained above, as an option for people belonging to the vegan movement.

Not only are people purely devoted to this lifestyle included, but it is also aimed at those who decide to reduce the consumption of elements with animal origin.

This ink is made from vegetable or synthetic ingredients, excluding all types of animal composition within its formulation.

In addition, it also adheres to the cruelty-free movement, therefore, the products are not tested on them.

When we talk about vegan tattoos, you are probably imagining that the modified element for the cause is the ink only. And you are right, but there are other products to take into account which are found from the formulation of the design to its application and its subsequent care:

  • The transfer paper used by the tattoo artist to make the design.
  • Vaseline that is applied to lubricate during the process.
  • The healing cream.

All of these elements also include ingredients of animal origin, but thanks to the new options, each one can be replaced by a vegan option.

As for the ink, we can say that, apart from being different from traditional ingredients, it has the excellent characteristic of being hypoallergenic, so the risk of allergy is minimal.

This condition makes the body react in a more pleasant way to its formulation and avoid skin conditions as much as possible.

There are myths regarding the disadvantages of this cruelty-free ink, which explain that its duration is much shorter, to the detriment of quality over time.

The aforementioned tattoo artist, María Fernández, comes to demystify this theory:

“There is a false belief that vegan inks lose intensity over time. However, today there are many high-quality fully vegan ink brands that offer a spectacular result, equal to or better than other traditional non-vegan inks.”

If you want to know brands that offer this type of vegan products, click here Vegan products in tattoos.

Veganism in the tattoo: yes or no?

The tattoo world adds a new alternative that promotes environmental awareness, but of course it does not exclude those who are not part of it. In fact, that is what diversity is all about and our industry proves to be up to the task.

If you are thinking about doing your next tattoo, and you prefer a vegan option, we recommend that after reading this article, you use the information provided to find the artists and studios that suit these cruelty-free requirements.

Being aware of the composition of the inks you use for tattooing is essential, both to align with your values and to know how to work with them.

And you can learn all about them in a comprehensive and tested manner within our professional tattooing courses.