Is The Ink Used In Tattoos Vegan?

If you are vegan or prefer to stick to a plant-based lifestyle more often than not, you might find yourself googling every ingredient in the items you use daily. So many items that seem like they would be free of animal byproducts are surprisingly not. Everything from dryer sheets and detergent to some alcohols and sodas contains animal products (via Business Insider).

Most people assume that products like those listed above are plant-based because they do not contain meat or dairy in the obvious fashion we are used to seeing in things like a hamburger or a gallon of milk. You might be scratching your head at the thought of laundry detergent not being plant-based, but according to VegFAQS, some detergents contain lard or enzymes that come from animals. Thoroughly reading the labels of products before you buy them is a must if you are living a vegan lifestyle!

If detergent isn't vegan, you might be wondering what else out there is seemingly vegan on the surface, but actually contains animal derived ingredients. Tattoo ink is another one of those items that should be vegan, but is it?

Not all tattoo ink is vegan

If you are vegan and care strongly about avoiding products that contain ingredients taken from animals, you might want to do some research before getting your next tattoo. According to The Vegan Society, most tattoo inks are not vegan, as they use glycerine taken from animal fats. However, it's not just the glycerine in ink that may have animal products in them. Ink may have everything from bone char from various animals to gelatin from pig or horse hooves (via PETA).

The good news is a lot of high-quality tattoo ink brands have made completely vegan formulas. Some of those brands include Eternal, StarBrite, SkinCandy, and Stable Color. If you are worried about getting a tattoo with ink made from animal products, call your artist and ask what ink they use.

You might even be able to find an all-vegan tattoo shop that makes sure everything in their shop is vegan. That means the ink, transfer paper, razors, and soaps are all made of plant-based ingredients (via Veggie Visa). While these specific shops might be hard to come by, they do exist!