Saturday 3 March 2018

Making Tattoo Ink from Cat Hair is a Misleading Concept

You may have heard of this. A tattoo artist is using the fur of your cat as a base for the ink that he uses. Once the ink is applied to the skin the concept is that you have a piece of your cat under your skin and therefore very close to you in perpetuity.

It's a way of having your cat with you after he or she has passed on. A female model, Kathrin Toelle, has had a large tattoo applied to her right thigh by a Swiss tattoo service known as Skin46 who claim that they extract medically clean organic carbon from the cat's hair and then transform that product into tattoo ink.

Tattoo Artist Roman Abrego/Model Kathrin Toelle

Skin46 say that they incinerate the hair through extremely high temperatures removing all impurities and carcinogenic compounds to create a pure carbon which is mixed with tattoo ink.

Of course it has to be purified because you cannot, as a tattoo artist, inject tainted material under a person's skin for obvious health reasons.

My argument is this: if you are reducing the hair of a cat to pure carbon you are destroying all DNA. If you are destroying all DNA then nothing remains of your cat. Therefore you are not injecting a piece of your cat under your skin.

My research indicates that the only time that DNA can survive a cremation is when bits of bone or teeth remain afterwards which are then crushed down. These fragments of teeth and bone will contain DNA. Of course, this cannot happen in the process described by the tattoo artist. The material has to be very fine, purified carbon and therefore this reinforces my opinion that it contains no DNA.

Therefore I would argue, politely, that Skin46 is misrepresenting their service. The client thinks that they have a piece of their cat under their skin but I would argue that they don't.

The concept is similar to making jewelry from the cremated remains of your pet. That process too would seem to be flawed.

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