A little while ago, we put out an Instagram post looking for people who have tattoos that were inspired by their vegan journey or that have a great and meaningful story behind them.
It seems that getting permanently inked to show your support and love for the movement is something that many people are doing, as we had a great response from you!
We picked 12 vegan tattoos of all shapes and sizes which people kindly sent us pictures of along with a little bit about what they mean or why they got them in the first place. From a couple of full, incredible animal rights-dedicated sleeve designs to several simple and cute odes to the V life, they all brought a smile to our faces.
Oddly all of the people that got in touch were female…So perhaps we’ll have to do an all-male vegan tattoo follow up article in the future!
“Last year I began work on my vegan and animal rights related sleeve. I wanted the sleeve to be a form of passive activism and to show love and respect to all the suffering farmed animals. There are also a few insects like a bee, worm and beetle. Bees and worms play such an important part in our world and the beetle represents all the beetles crushed for food dye.
I’m working on sleeve two which will be dedicated to sea life!”
Tattoo Artist Instagram: @arietti.tattoo
EMILY JANE GAMMONS
“I got my tattoo to celebrate after being vegan for one year; tattooed by my friend Melka from Inkquisitive Tattoo Studio in Worthing East Sussex. I have now been vegan for three years. My parents raised me vegetarian from birth so I have been meat free for 29 years.
Deciding to be vegan was the best decision I had ever made and my tattoo is a great talking point for when people ask me about it and what it represents and the reasons why I got it.”
Tattoo Artist Instagram: @melkacreative
Veganuary followers may recognise this one that we reposted from Nicola Neal. The vegan mum from East Sussex posted her new tattoo with the caption:
“Veganuary Class of ’18. Vegan for life.”
NEHA SIENA CARDIN
“This was gifted to me by few of my close friends for my birthday. The number in the barcode represents the date I turned vegan 24-02-2015 (which is also my birthday). Like it’s true for everyone else, veganism has made me a better person.”
“Last July, I went to a slaughterhouse in Suffolk, UK. On that day, a truck arrived carrying thousands of chickens, the same as every other truck. Every truck broke my heart but this one was slightly different.
Between the crates and the lorry, there was a slight gap. Trapped in this gap were two chickens. When the crates were carelessly loaded that morning, these two had toppled out and spent god knows how long (up to 8 hours) wedged in. As we peered in, we could see that one had already passed away, likely from injuries or stress. The other one was still alive. Hurt, but alive. I turned to the man who works for the slaughterhouse and asked what would happen to her. I was bluntly told she would be inspected once the truck got inside, and if she was too injured, she would be disposed of.
She would be too injured… And she would be disposed of…
I begged and begged them to let me take her to a sanctuary. Her life to them is worth around 40p. To them, it would have been no loss to let her go. I have never felt so overwhelmed, helpless and desperate in my whole life. But no matter what, they wouldn’t let me give her freedom. When the truck pulled away, I felt physically sick. I knew what would happen to her. I cried the whole of the rest of the day and most of that week and even now I get teary-eyed thinking of what she went through.
I couldn’t give her freedom that day but she became my first vegan tattoo. So that whenever anyone asks me about it, I can tell her story.
My main request for the tattoo was that she looked free. A picture of how her life should have been.”
“I have one of Tilikum, which I decided to get in his memory after his death last year.
And I got an animal rights sleeve which started with the cow. I was looking for inspiration online and came across this photo of a cow with an ear tag on a farming site and she had my name. After that I had the pig, then added the chickens. I then added the lamb with the words “I see you. I hear you. I will never stop fighting for you.” – Words I wrote on an online post after witnessing pigs going to slaughter.”
“I love pigs and wanted a vegan pig tattoo for all the stupid ‘bacon tho’ comments!”
“My friend and I both got this tattoo. We wanted to copy the symbol that is on a lot of packaged foods labelling it vegan – the V with the heart around it. Super simple, I love it!”
“Veganism is a big part of mine and my husband’s life. We both feel very strongly that going vegan is one of the best things we’ve ever done. We did it 100% for the animals, but the health and environmental benefits are lovely accidental rewards. Quite a number of our friends have also recently made the move to veganism and told us we inspired them which is the best compliment ever!
We run a vegan burlesque show together (all of the food on sale at the shows in vegan, and we ask performers to not use fur, feathers, leather etc in their acts) and when we renewed our wedding vows last year we fed 100+ people a completely vegan meal and had loads of compliments about the food.
We love our matching vegan tattoos. They represent our firm commitment to living a compassionate life and trying our best to help animals. The artist who did the tattoos is also vegan, and of course, uses all vegan inks and other products, his name is Sam Young (@crookedclawtattoo)
We both believe veganism is the future. We feel the best way to inspire others to try veganism is to stay friendly and polite, and just do your own vegan thing. People will get curious, they ask questions; what are you eating? why are you vegan? what does that tattoo symbolise? I make an effort to read as much as I can on the topic so I can give sensible factual answers. I cook for people so they can see vegan food is delicious. Sometimes the most hardcore omnivore, who mocks you and seemingly doesn’t care, will suddenly surprise you with a change of heart, and that makes it all worthwhile.”
“I chose to get these words to remind me and inspire others to do their best and live by example. I think the best thing we can do to encourage others to go vegan is to lead by example as people will then see how great and easy it is!
I’d like to add to the tattoo at some point, perhaps with some sunflowers, which are my favourite flower and, of course, the Vegan Society’s flower!”
“I’ve been vegan for nine years and late last year I finally got my first vegan tattoo. It’s the smallest of my tattoos and I had it done during an art event at the satellite in Echo Park whilst my friend’s band was playing (don’t worry it was totally sanitary) by @nikienouveau_tattoos. I wanted kind of a story book/Peter Rabbit style one and she nailed it. I’ve had bunnies for over ten years, have volunteered with Bunny World Foundation and just love bunnies a lot. They are hilarious little critters so it’s also a nod to my furry vegan buddies. I love it.”
“It says “until every cage is empty” with the image of an empty cage with the door open and a key hanging from it to symbolise my part in emptying the cages. Then birds are flying around outside the cage.”
Thanks to everyone who took part!
If you’ve felt inspired to try vegan or know someone who has, why not try our 31-day pledge? Start today and we’ll help every step of the way.