16 vegan tattoo designs that prove veganism is for life

Author: Rachel Smith

Read Time:   |  17th June 2019

We vegans wear our hearts on our sleeves, sometimes quite literally as these beautiful and inspirational vegan tattoos show.

Vegans wear their hearts on their sleeves, quite literally in fact when it comes to vegan tattoos!

Body art is a powerful way to express who you are, so it’s no surprise that many vegans want to promote their vegan lifestyle through the artwork on their bodies.

Whether you want to promote veganism with a small and subtle tattoo or you want to shout it from the rooftops with a large piece, these vegan tattoos prove that veganism is for life.

Are tattoos vegan?

You may have heard that tattoos aren’t vegan, but the good news is it is possible to get vegan tattoos if you choose the right artist and ink.

Many people believe finding tattoo artists who use vegan-friendly inks is very difficult. But with many people going vegan, it’s never been easier to find vegan tattoo artists!

Finding a vegan artist is the best way to ensure your tattoo is vegan as chances are the entire studio will be vegan-friendly.

However, if you want to make a powerful statement with your cruelty-free body art without compromising on your ethics, it’s important to do your research.

If you are unsure, you can call the studio or speak to your artist to check what materials will be used in the process.

Why are tattoo inks not vegan?

As with many foods and cosmetics, many tattoo inks are not suitable for vegans as some contain animal ingredients.

In fact, some of the ingredients in non-vegan tattoo inks are truly horrifying! According to PETA, they can contain ingredients such as gelatine, bone char, glycerin from animal fat, and even shellac from beetles. We definitely wouldn’t want any of those ingredients tattooed into our skin!

What tattoo inks are vegan?

If you’re lucky enough to find a vegan artist near you, chances are they will already be using vegan inks. Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to check before booking an appointment.

Some popular vegan tattoo ink brands include Eternal, Dermaglo, Waverly Color, StarBrite, SkinCandy, and Stable Color.

Vegan tattoo aftercare

While it’s relatively easy to find artists using vegan inks these days, it’s important to check that other elements in the process are also vegan too.

That’s because often things like tracing paper, razors and aftercare balms are not vegan, according to The Vegan Society.

You may be surprised to learn that some tracing paper is not vegan. The reason for this is because some contain lanolin as an ingredient.

Razors are another thing to watch out for when getting a tattoo as oftentimes, your artist will need to shave the area before they can tattoo. For hygiene reasons, they will most likely use disposable razors with a lubricating strip.

The issue with this is that sometimes the lubricating strip will be made with glycerin derived from animal tallow.

To ensure your new ink stays vibrant, it’s important to make sure you look after it with the proper aftercare. Many artists will recommend aftercare products to help your skin heal and stay moisturised, but some may contain ingredients such as beeswax or cod liver oil.

As with tracing paper, lanolin is another animal ingredient that is often used in aftercare balms.

These days, it’s easy to find a vegan and cruelty-free aftercare balm, but if you want to use natural methods then coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe vera are often recommended.

So now you’ve ensured your tattoo is vegan, you need some inspiration to help you with the design. Whether you’re looking for a humorous tattoo or something thought-provoking and sweet, these vibrant vegan tattoo ideas are sure to inspire you.

1. ‘Here with us, not for us’ by DC Young at Steel City Tattoo

vegan tattoos

2. ‘We are all earthlings’ by Ashley Luka 

3. ‘You matter’ by Phil DeAngulo 

4. ‘Friends, not food’ by Sadee Glover

5. ‘Not your mum, not your milk’ by Avalon Toadaro

vegan tattoo ideas

6. ‘Tofu!’ by Florian Farbian 

vegan tattoo ideas

7. ‘Friends, not food’ by Avalon Toadaro

vegan tattoo ideas

8. ‘Friends, not food’ by Michael Manarino 

9. ‘My body will not be a tomb for other creatures’ by Harriet Heath

10. ‘I’m sorry I can’t make them stop’ by Danny Taylor

11. ‘I ain’t no bacon, b!tch!’ by Hello Darkness Tattoo

12. ‘This planet needs every friend it can get’ by Liza Musselman

vegan tattoo ideas

13. ‘Live and let live’ by Jakub Tempski

vegan tattoo ideas

14. ‘Be kind to all kinds’ by Jennifer Frances 

vegan tattoo ideas

15. ‘Friends, not food’ by Timothy Lease

vegan tattoo ideas

16. ‘Soy’ by Mia Leo

vegan tattoo ideas

Once you’ve got your tattoo, it’s important to make sure you protect it from the sun to keep the colours vibrant. 

Here are the best vegan sunscreens to protect your skin. 

Written by

Rachel Smith

Having launched the brand's digital presence in 2015, Rachel shares her love for animals and the planet through her work as Vegan Food & Living’s Digital Editor. As a passionate vegan for over eight years, Rachel loves creating delicious vegan dessert recipes for her award-winning blog, Rawberry Fields. Rachel's recipes and photography have been featured in numerous international print and digital publications including the Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Thrive, and Buzzfeed. You can follow Rachel at @rawberryfields

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