Ask a Vegansaur: Vol. 07: Where can you get a vegan tattoo in the Bay Area?  »

Me, getting my boogie on, with a number of tattoos

This is a one-question post, but it’s one I mulled over quite a bit and polled a number of artists, so I hope it is helpful. DOWN TO BUSINESS:

Jacinda asks: Do you know any vegan-friendly tattoo artists in the Bay Area? I’m having a problem finding people. I search on Google and can’t find valid info for current people. All the ones I find are all old info. Any help you might have would be appreciated.

There is a TON of misinformation out there with regard to tattoos and veganism. I spoke to my artist (who happens to be a vegetarian) and several others to get a better feel on the situation. If you don’t agree that they are the experts in their field, I advise you to skip this entry. Here’s what I learned:

What makes an ink non-vegan is its binder, or carrier. Basic colors, such as most blacks (obviously not bone black, which uses bone char as the pigment), greens, reds, and so forth, are likelier to use no animal products. Less common colors—things like lavender, turquoise, chartreuse—might use binders and mixers that are not animal-friendly, just because that’s what’s keeping the color together.

Specifically vegan inks are available, so if you really want to use them, find an artist you like, and ask if he or she can use them. However, it seems to be a common opinion among tattoo artists that these inks don’t hold up as well. Remember, this is something you are putting on your body permanently, so you’d ideally like it to last forever. 

Here’s my advice for anyone seeking a tattoo anywhere: Find a pool of artists whose work you like (on the internet, through a friend, etc.) and bring them your idea(s). A knowledgeable artist will be able to tell you what is feasible and keeps within animal-friendly parameters. 

I hope that helps. The internet has yet to reach a consensus on this subject. If you are or know of a tattoo artist who specifically caters to vegans, now is the time to share.

Want to Ask a Vegansaur a question? Email me, and try not to be a jerk! 

[Photo credit: me]

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