Kate Bullen tweeted a photo of her two new tattoos last week, and the ink still isn’t dry on all the public comments pouring in.
One photo showed her “suicide awareness” tattoo on one wrist.
The other showed that she now sports the word “Vegan” in big, bold, beautiful cursive lettering on her forehead above her right eye. She wanted the tattoo to be visible and seems happy that now she doesn’t have to tell people every five minutes that she’s vegan.
“I chose to get this tattoo as I’m incredibly passionate about veganism and know I’ll be vegan for life,” Bullen, who lives in the city of Preston in northern England, told British entertainment website LADbible.
“Of course the tattoo on my face received quite a lot of negative reactions because people seem to get upset when they see the word ‘vegan.’”
Upset is one word to describe the scathing public commentary. “That tattoo is gonna look fantastic when she turns 70,” tweeted one man.
Other people wondered whether the bold statement would hurt her chances at getting a job.
“I’ve had a lot of comments saying I’m unemployable which doesn’t matter to me since I’ve been self-employed since I was 18 and it’s easy to cover with make up” and bangs, she told The Independent.
Still, some people applauded her passion.
“I think its good,” one woman wrote on Facebook. “People have the right to express what they believe in in any way.”
The tattoo artist has been hit by the blowback, too, and he shot back in a fired-up Facebook post.
“The amount of negative comments I’ve had to delete on the picture of the vegan tattoo is (expletive) disgusting,” wrote Jordan McCrea.
“So (expletive) what if someone wants to get a vegan tattoo on their face. I nearly didnt do this tattoo because I knew the reaction it would get but I thought f*** what other people say, however I was correct and there have been people tagging their friends and having a good old laugh at the girl.
“Although I am not a vegan and will most likely never be one, I really respect her for fighting for what she believes in and being proud to show it off, and doing so without ONCE pushing/trying to ‘convert’ me the way everyone seems to thing all vegans do ...
“(Whose) lives are really that boring that they poke fun of what people do with their lives or what they choose to put on their bodies. And that statement doesnt just apply to this situation. Rant over!”
Bullen thinks she knows where some of the criticism is coming from.
“I believe this upset comes from a feeling of defensiveness because I encourage them to think about the consequences of their actions,” she told LADbible.
She went vegan a few years ago out of empathy for animals and said she’s “still learning about how eating meat is so harmful for the planet and contributing towards world hunger and so many illnesses in humans,” she told LADbible.
She described the sound of “pigs screaming and crying” coming from a slaughterhouse in Manchester where she was protesting earlier this month.
“People are so detached from what they eat they forget that these are sentient beings who are capable of feeling pain and emotion just like us,” she said.