General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

Do tattoos really matter when working with animals?

Asked by tinyfaery (41613points) March 12th, 2010

I have decided that I am going to finally do something I love and work with animals. I have been looking into “this program” and a few others. The thing is that these programs say that visible tattoos are not allowed and are generally not accepted in the animal field. WTF?

Is this true? If you work with animals do you notice that people are not allowed to have tattoos? What is the reasoning behind this?

Every vet I have ever gone to seem to let people have tattoos. Why is it different when working with non-domesticated animals?

Are my tattoos going to hinder my employment prospects?

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29 Answers

Vunessuh's avatar

I think it’s the company that decides whether or not they want employees with tattoos. Not the types of animals you work with.
If you interview with them, I would be honest about what you have and tell them you will be more than happy to cover them up. If you want to do something you love, that’s what you’ll have to sacrifice, which isn’t really that much.

silverfly's avatar

Welcome to America, the land that is so concerned about self image and conformity. Don’t stand out, don’t be different, and keep your mouth shut. It’s unfortunate that you can’t do what you love because of tattoos. And to answer the question: no, tattoos won’t hinder your performance… just your ability to conform. :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Tattoos don’t matter, imo, no matter what you do. I mean, come the fuck on, people. And I’m so glad you’ve found something you’re interested in.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m not willing to wear long sleeves in the summer. How horrible.

Vunessuh's avatar

Not trying to be snarky, but there are plenty of things I don’t want to do, but I do them anyway for the job that I love.
I also have tattoos.

BarkelFashions's avatar

In this day and age, surely it must be illegal to prejudice against someone on how they look, eg you cant discriminate because of race,age or disability so why Tattoos,Good luck with it

tinyfaery's avatar

@Vunessuh Good for you. I’ve done the same, but no way am I going to be outside in the heat with long sleeves.

Buttonstc's avatar

Obviously the tattoos don’t make a bit of difference to the animals.

After looking at the web site, my guess would be that, since they are a “teaching zoo”, a large portion of those with whom they deal would be groups of children and teachers (possibly parents also).

This is where they are most likely fearful of getting complaints about tattooed “teachers” since that is eventually what your job would most likely entail. Teaching about the animals.

I’m not saying I agree with that as I think they’re being rather old fashioned about things.

I saw a documentary about an Australian zoo which had a habitat for Tasmanian Devils, a very difficult animal to work with to say the least.

There was one young worker there who had such a passion for working with them and it was evident in everything he did. Totally beside the point, he had numerous prominent tattoos as well as ear studs and (I think) a nose or lip ring or stud, if I remember correctly.

And he also spent time educating the visitors about the animals also. What mattered most was his obvious love of his job, not what he looked like.

But unless you can get some help from the ACLU to challenge the archaic attitudes here, sadly it’s a case of “our organization, our rules”.

Good luck. Perhaps there are other places a little less behind the times and more open-minded.

silverfly's avatar

Then again… would you hire this guy?

brownlemur's avatar

I’ve been working with animals both in zoos and in the wild since 2002. Basically everyone I know, either a zookeeper, academic, primatologist, herpetologist, any kind of biologist, has one or more tattoos. See my fluther avatar for a perfect example. I don’t see why it should matter to anyone.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@silverfly Sure! He’d fit in with the animals given his own obsession with some of their features.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@silverfly hire him? Fuck no. I wouldn’t even shake his… whatever… paw?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@CyanoticWasp you’re making these judgments just based on his body modification? why?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir his “body modifications” tell me more about his “mental modifications” than I want to be familiar with. Who knows where that paw will have been, or how he last cleaned it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@CyanoticWasp You don’t know – just like I don’t know where your (presumably ‘normal’ and ‘sane’) paw has been.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir fine. This place is going to go to hell in a quick hurry if we start taking literally everything that everyone says. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times.

But I’m telling you this for certain: If he shakes his tail in my face he’s going to lose it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@CyanoticWasp I just think you’re too quick to judge. We might all be. And I don’t think he’s going to shake his tail in your face

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I think you’re judging me too quickly.

Ria777's avatar

@silverfly: Welcome to America, the land that is so concerned about self image and conformity. Don’t stand out, don’t be different, and keep your mouth shut.

actually, the u.s. has a worldwide reputation as the place where people do crazy things to get themselves noticed and make themselves individual. socially conservative, in some ways, though, compared to western europe. (in serbia, I believe, they had riots in the 2000s after one group had a GLBT pride march.)

so, yes, I don’t value conformity. I push against it, myself. at the same time, I don’t see the u.s. as one of the worst offenders worldwide.

silverfly's avatar

@Ria777 Good point. Maybe it’s just the Christians.

Facade's avatar

@silverfly Nice scapegoating. It was hilarious.

@tinyfaery Maybe you can find a program that won’t care about your tattoos? It might take some looking, but it’d be worth it imo.

silverfly's avatar

@Facade I grew up in the church. I’m allowed to point fingers for the eternal guilt I’ll feel for leaving. :)

phillis's avatar

Tell them that when tattoo identification for animals is no longer used, they have a viable argument.

downtide's avatar

It’s not really that the tattoos matter. It’s that the company doesn’t want to employ the type of person that thinks it’s cool to have visible tattoos.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@downtide there’s no such ‘type of person’ – people of all ‘types’ have tattoos

Facade's avatar

@downtide Wow. @Simone_De_Beauvoir is right. Having visible tattoos does not denote a certain type of person whatsoever.

downtide's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I agree with you but unfortunately a lot of employers don’t.

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