A piece published in The Atlantic on Sunday revisits the history of tattoo supplies, which have historically used an abundance of animal products, and the growing industry of plant-based alternatives. In an article titled “No Charred Bones or Animal Fat: The Search for a Vegan Tattoo,” vegan writer Tim Donnelly recounts ancient tattoo ink and devices, as well as contemporary inks, that include animal-derived products like bone char, glycerin, and sheep enzymes. Donnelly also speaks with vegan tattoo artists about the ethical issues of using traditional inks, as well as surveys the availability of cruelty-free parlors and products. Earlier this month, a New Zealand woman won the consumer products category of the Grow Wellington Bright Ideas Challenge for her invention of a plant-based tattoo after-care product made from essential oils.
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