Tattoos are beautiful things, but for those that shy away from animal products, they can also be unattainable dreams. Tattoo ink often contains items like bone char and animal fat in the glycerin that carries the pigment and other accompanying products — like the green soap many shops use — can also contain those ingredients. But vegans + co, rejoice: no longer are vegan tattoos a rare, if not impossible, find. Many tattoo shops, like Monocle Tattoo in LA, are already vegan, are in the process of becoming vegan or are offering vegan products. The good news is that shops like this are gaining more and more popular traction.


Spots like Monocole are little North Stars, leading the way by going full-on vegan — everything from their ink to their stencil paper comes sans animal products. “There is more to a tattoo than a machine, needle and ink,” reads Monocle Tattoo‘s website. Everything from the razor a shop chooses to the products used to lubricate the skin during the actual tattooing process to aftercare, there’s much to consider in making a shop completely vegan.

It seems all worth it to Monocle’s owner and operator James Spooner, whose interest in vegan tattoos stemmed from his longtime commitment to the ethical treatment of animals. On his decision to get into vegan tattooing, Spooner says, “it was totally animal rights. It’s pretty much always been… just for the animals,” Spooner says in the video on their website that goes into a bit of the nitty gritty of vegan tattoo processes. Perhaps the best thing about vegan tattoos, though, is the fact that they’re indecipherable from traditional tattoos. That’s a huge win, since when it comes to something you’re going to wear on your body for the rest of your life, you don’t want to have to choose between quality and ethics.

Vegan shops like Monocle produce top-notch work, just as gorgeous as any other, yet significantly more ethical and animal friendly. From colorful hummingbirds…


…to sci-fi staples…


and dainty flowers…


Shops like Monocole are living proof that vegan tats definitely stack up right next to traditional animal-based inks and products. Even if you’re not someone who is on the vegan train or cares to be, progress and options are always a great thing that most anyone can get behind. Cheers to our fellow makers!

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