Something I had never considered when I first went vegan was the idea of a vegan tattoo. I have always wanted tattoos, but as so many tattoo inks contain animal by products such as gelatin and shellac I had sort of resigned myself to not have any tattoos. I mean, what was the point of going vegan if I was still going to put animal products into my body?
Then one day I just decided to google it. And you had better believe that vegan tattoo ink is both a) in pretty high production and b) used by quite a lot of parlours. So I decided that I was just going to take the plunge and get my first tattoo. I got my tattoo in 2016, but I have noticed that over these three years I have noticed more and more parlours are advertising that they have vegan tattoo ink available and even getting vegan specialist tattooers in for special events and the like. So if anyone ever tells you that veganism is a ‘fad’ or a ‘short lived trend’, this entire movement has grown huge amounts in such a short space of time. Imagine what will be available to us in another three years?!
I went to Fifth Dimension Tattoo is Shoreditch, London, which is rather ironically located on Bacon Street. When I googled the available vegan tattoo parlours, this one had the type of style I was going for and I went along to an initial consultation with a lovely woman name Sooz who was going to do my tattoo for me. Overall, it was a really nice process.
Truth be told, I did pass out when I got my tattoo, but that’s because I really really really hate needles. I had always thought that it was just hypodermic ones because even when they are shown on TV i start to feel queezy. I could watch hours of tattoo-ing and never feel sick or uneasy. But for whatever reason, the second that needle fit my skin for the first time that was me out. But I was back up in about 30 seconds and was able to get through the rest of the tattoo with no issues. Personally I think it was just my bodies usual reaction to having something puncture my skin, because I wasn’t actually nervous for it. I also made sure to have a big breakfast and even took some chocolate and lucozade with me just in case…The benefits of knowing your body!
This was the finished product, but not fully healed.
My tattoo is on my ribs and honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It mostly felt irritating, like I really wanted to scratch at it or move away from the buzzing. It didn’t necessarily hurt. The only times it did hurt was when it got a bit closer to the boob tissue…then I could feel those needle vibrations across my whole chest and that was a bit of a experience. It took about an hour and I love him so much. Even now when I catch little glimpses of him, I still smile and just stare at him for a while.
The colour has also held really well. Even three years on he still looks super fresh and hasn’t faded at all. And seeing as how it is on my ribs and has to compete with me wrestling in and out of sports bras on a daily basis, I am very impressed. I wanted it to look like watercolours as if it was just painted on and as my tattoo healed the colours definitely got more mixed and weren’t as blunt as they looked when freshly done. So overall I am so happy with him!
I would like to get more, but obviously with the current climate being what it is, I may still have a wait a bit longer. I am also not certain what I want…I want so many that I can’t decide what to do first!