Many of you may or may not be aware of the photo controversy concerning VegNews Magazine. When I first heard about it I was shocked and saddened (Read the article below from Quarry Girl for further information on the issue).
VegNews has issued a response to quarrygirl.com’s investigation. To read VegNews’s response to the controversy click here. It is always important to hear both sides of the story.
While I understand why people are upset, I will remain a reader of VegNews. I understand the financial constraints that they are working under and I see how hard they have worked to help further veganism, for which I am very appreciative. I truly think that their hearts are in the right place and I believe their justification for using stock photos on occasion. According to VegNews. it is their future goal to use exclusively vegan photos as soon as it is financially feasible.
I want to thank quarrygirl.com for bringing this issue to light.
Please read the article below by quarrygirl.com as well as the response from VegNews (click here) and then share your views in the comment section of my post. I’d love to know what you think.
RANT: VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues
April 13th, 2011
Do you like looking at pictures of meat? How about a juicy beef burger, covered in egg mayonnaise with cow fat dripping off? Perhaps some soft, meaty chunks of chicken breast in chicken stock and cream? What about a pork sausage, oozing in pig fat, fresh from the slaughterhouse? OK, let’s tone it down a little. Perhaps you like to look at egg mayonnaise potato salad, made with eggs from those poor battery hens that are dead basically from the moment they are born. How about creamy mac and cheese made with real cow’s milk, pulled painfully from their sore and tender udders, infused with antibiotics, pain and anguish?
If so, you can find all this in the nation’s premier print and online vegan magazine, VegNews. Surprised? Shocked? Read on…
real meat ribs have bones removed with photoshop to appear vegan
We’ve always been fans of VegNews, since back in the mid-2000s when we’d wait with bated breath for the US Mail to deliver our copy. We’d eagerly flip through, reading all about the latest veg stuff, salivating over the amazing pictures, trying out a vegan recipe, and maybe even discovering a restaurant in our home town through one of their reviews.
it’s sad, then, that the pictures we’ve been drooling over for years are actually of MEAT! Veg News has written tens (possibly hundreds) of articles extolling the virtues of a vegan lifestyle, while purchasing rock-bottom priced stock photos of MEAT, EGGS, DAIRY and other completely non-vegan things. You doubt this? See below:
stock photo of real meat ribs. a doctored photo of this appears on veg news.
We started searching for more examples of Veg News using meat photos next to “drool-worthy vegan recipes,” and the results were disturbing…
The vegan burger?
Not vegan at all!
a real meat burger on a stock photo site, as seen on vegnews.com
The soul satisfying seitan stew?
Veg News “seitan stew”
It’s actually a picture of “chicken breast soup”!
Get your barf bags ready!
Oh, and it’s not just the website! We spot checked some photos from the magazine, and every single one was made from real animal products…
Real mac and cheese
According to istock, this hotdog is real meat! Flipping the photo doesn’t fool us!
“Veganize it!” (very apt)
So, we’ve established that there are many, many pictures of MEAT in both the VegNews print magazine, and online. Why does this matter? After all, a picture is just a picture, right? Unfortunately, this situation exposes a clear issue with the editorial integrity of Veg News. They are KNOWINGLY publishing misleading pictures of MEAT dishes, and passing them off as vegan. If they will stoop that low (and appear to have been doing so for years) what else can we not trust about this formerly erstwhile publication?
Let’s look at the events of today that we think implicate a much deeper editorial issue, and in our opinion discredit not only everything Veg News is doing, but everything they have done. Here’s how it went down:
One of our readers emailed to say that he had noticed a photograph on the home page of VegNews.com that was from istockphoto.com, an inexpensive royalty-free photography vendor. He recognized the photo as being a real MEAT beef burger and immediately, emailed them and left a comment on the post saying that the burger was meat rather than vegan, expecting to be thanked for doing them a favor.
Minutes later, his comment mysteriously disappeared. So he left another, which was also deleted. He emailed again, and got this response:
“Thank you for your interest in VegNews. However, your inappropriate and mean-spirited commenting has violated the policy of VegNews, and we have and will continue to remove any future comments. Please know that we welcome constructive criticism from all viewpoints, and rarely unpublish comments from readers.
Should you have any constructive feedback, feel free to email me directly. I’d love to hear from you.”
We investigated the “policy” from a link on the home page, and were directed here. We didn’t see any reference to comments that called out meat pictures, so we left a very nice comment: “just want to let you know that this burger is not vegan. It’s a stock photo of a real beef burger” on the same post. Twenty minutes later, this comment was also deleted.
Our conclusion, therefore, is that VegNews has serious editorial integrity issues, and cannot be trusted. Indeed, we’re mailing back our award tomorrow. This is a very sad day.
Finally, how does this harm animals? Well, not directly – I mean, cows, pigs, chickens and who knows what else were clearly killed as part of the chain of events that led to the photo, but the laziness and outright lack of respect from Veg News toward animals and vegans undermines everything we stand for.
Animal suffering is prolonged and made worse enough by hypocritical meat eaters who never want to see inside the slaughterhouse just as it is by people in our community who deceive and lie. The devil within is much worse than the devil outside.
** UPDATE: Many of you are asking us how you can cancel your Veg News subscription. If you’re sure you want to do this, the “policies” page above gives the following information. Feel free to cancel, as we did.
….if you are dissatisfied with VegNews for any reason, you are welcome to a subscription refund at any time. Simply call us at 760-291-1546, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images courtesy of quarrygirl.com