wordmpd
by Michael Parrish DuDell
Categories: .

Earlier this afternoon, my colleague Michael d’Estries posted a story that is slowly but surely shaking up the vegetarian world. Last night, QuarryGirl.com revealed that VegNews – the nation’s leading vegetarian magazine — has, on occasion, used nonvegan stock photography alongside vegan recipes on both their website and in their magazine. While, of course, one might suspect a handful of negative reactions from this revelation, the mass hysteria that has occurred throughout the vegetarian community in the last 24 hours is nothing but flagrantly obscene.

At first glance, it’s understandable why some people might find this idea strange. Why would a vegan magazine use nonvegan images? It isn’t, however, until one examines the issue more thoroughly that the line begins to blur.

As a privately owned publication with no outside funding, VegNews has done the near impossible by lasting 11 years and securing prime real estate in bookstores across the country. Currently, the popular magazine reaches over 1 million readers each month, including herbivores and omnivores alike. As VegNews points out in a letter on their site, occasionally using nonvegan stock photography is sometimes the only fiscally possible way to procure high-quality magazine-style images. Sure, it’s not ideal, but it’s not criminal either.

While some online critics have suggested VegNews source user-submitted photos, anybody who’s ever worked in publishing knows this suggestion isn’t logistically possible. With time-sensitive deadlines, detailed specs, and other provisions to consider, sourcing photos would be more trouble than it’s worth. Ideally, VegNews would have an in-house photographer, but being an independently owned company on a conservative budget prohibits that option. These are only some of the challenges the outspoken naysayers don’t seem to be considering.

Instead of discussing the situation with the staff of VegNews in a thoughtful way (as opposed to leaving a comment on their website) or gathering enough information to fully understand the issue, the activist who broke the story chose to wage war, proudly canceling her subscription and enabling others to do the same. What’s more, a small handful of highly-regarded bloggers have jumped on board to reprimand and call into question the magazine’s editorial integrity. And this is where these particular activists are getting it dead wrong.

If the goal of the whole game is to celebrate and promote a vegan lifestyle, how does relentlessly bashing an organization that has spent 11 years championing our shared mission make any sense at all? That’s an easy answer: it doesn’t. What it does do is create the appearance of infighting that not only confirms but exacerbates the common stereotype that vegans are frustratingly rigid and ruthlessly pugnacious. I’d argue, moreover, that the activist who spends his time didactically preaching such a silly message has lost focus entirely. The most effective advocates know that speaking up for a cause is not about one’s own delicate sensibilities but about the larger picture as a whole — in other words, the goal of the fight; not simply “the fight.”

Like all senseless flailing, this momentary hysteria will eventually die down and the hotheaded shouters will no doubt find something else as equally unimportant to scream about. The sad reality is that in the wake of this nonissue issue, VegNews will probably suffer temporary losses. And that, my friends, is a real honest-to-goodness shame.

When activists ask what advice I can share, I always say the same thing: when advocating for any cause, remember that very often strategy is more important than emotion. It’s not always an easy thing to hear, but it’s often the truth. Today we will have wasted thousands of collective hours ranting and raving over a handful of stock photos when we could be focusing on the issues that truly matter. How totally and completely silly.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, I shudder at how many more must be shed before this silly conflict is finally put to rest.

Full Disclosure: I have contributed to VegNews Magazine in the past, and would happily contribute again. All opinions expressed in this column are mine and mine alone.

Michael Parrish DuDell has been a senior editor at Ecorazzi.com since 2007. He is currently the managing editor of The Domino Project – a new publishing company started by Seth Godin and powered by Amazon.com. You can follow Michael on Twitter, find him on Facebook, or email him at mparrishdudell@gmail.com.

  • http://www.lauraorban.com Laura Orban

    Really well said. Thank for you trying to keep the focus on the bigger issue. We need to stop bashing the converted every time they falter, and focus on how to be better spread the message to the vast majority of people who are actively supporting the system we want to change.

  • Tommy

    While I hear your point, I disagree. If they’d use photos that are clearly not what they appear to be, it is hard to trust anything else in the magazine. If they were only occasionally used, then they should have skipped a photo if they didn’t have one that is suitable.

    There are 1000′s of amazing vegan food photographers posting photos on their own blogs every day. I’m betting the majority would have jumped at a chance to provide high quality photos for free, knowing there name would be listed in an iconic magazine. Many of my friends do that when they test recipes for upcoming vegan cookbooks. Their (non professional) photography ends up in the cookbooks that everyone is buying at big bookstores.

    Now VegNews’ reputation is tarnished and I don’t think it is as easy to look the other way and move on for the majority of long time readers.

  • http://areyousurethatsvegan.com Claire Gosse

    Well said Michael. It’s sad that people are focusing so much energy on this when there are much bigger problems for us to tackle.

  • jordan

    Oh come on.

    You really think I should feel bad for being pissed that a vegan magazine was knowingly pawning off meat and dairy-laden food photos as vegan? How dare I expect one of the more public faces of veganism (public enough to land on the front page of HuffPo when they get caught in a massive fuck up) to actually BE VEGAN!

    Sure, there are big, important battles to be fought in the name of the animals, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect at the very least basic, ethical behavior from publications like VegNews.

    • Erin

      Exactly.

    • Rachelle

      I agree.

  • Paula

    You’re right, MPD, it was really dumb of me to feel like a vegan magazine should have pictures of vegan food in it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Miner-End-Bsl/1146434269 Matt Miner End Bsl

      haha exactly

    • Rachelle

      I agree…And it is a question of integrity no matter how one wants to sugarcoat it. The mag could have printed an explanation/disclaimer somewhere in the mag from the beginning regarding the photos and this would not be a big deal to many. No one wants to be deceived.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tamara-Aguilar/1245858497 Tamara Aguilar

    “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”

    You, sir, are mediocrity masquerading as common sense and practicality. Bravo to quarrygirl for having the guts to bring VegNews’ deception to the surface. It isn’t her fault they LIED AND SUBSEQUENTLY TRIED TO COVER UP THE TRUTH about the use of stock photos containing animal products alongside the vegan recipes they’re supposed to represent.

    You can blah blah about thoughtful conversation regarding two years of deception, and blah blah over those of us you consider “rigid,” but it doesn’t change the fact that this is an issue of integrity that undermines the overall cause just as much as, if not more than true intolerant, militant “vegans.” Holding VegNews accountable for this isn’t “relentlessly bashing” them.

    Maybe you are incapable of understanding people having a problem being deceived by a publication you are affiliated with. But when it seems that for nine out of 11 years of being published, VegNews managed to use photos of actual vegan food, how do they expect the excuse of not having enough finances to use vegan photography to not look like the pathetic excuse it is?

    Tolerance should be reserved for those you are trying to educate, not those that should know better. If VegNews has the resources to Photoshop bones from ribs, then they have the resources to continue using photos of real vegan food. And if Dominoes Pizza can use consumer photography for their products, so can VegNews.

    Oh, and unless you were trying to make some cutesy pun, it’s “shudder,” not “shutter.”

    • http://www.screwjeffowens.com Jeff Owens

      I like how he fixed his poor spelling now.

      • Michael Parrish DuDell

        Editor Note: “Shutter” was, in fact, a pun. I realized, however, that perhaps a pun had no place in a piece with such a serious message, and so it was changed. Thanks for your concern.

  • Emily

    I’m sorry, I assumed my VEGAN magazine would only show photos of VEGAN food. My bad. But you know what, I should be more accepting of massive vegan mistakes. In fact, the next time I’m somewhere and someone tries to pass something that’s not vegan off to me as vegan… I’m not going to get angry. I’m just going to thank them for “trying,” swallow my disappointment and forget about my ethics. *phew* Not think about things makes everything feel so much better!

  • Emily

    *thinking (Rage makes me type funny!)

  • Deb

    1. The food they showed wasn’t even necessarily what they labeled it. Coconut Creme Pie != Banana Creme Pie. So what was the point of including the picture in the first place?

    2. VegNews mislead their readers. They know this. They did it on purpose. And when they were found out, they didn’t apologize.

    3. They mislead us, and they’re not sorry they did. This shows a lack of integrity, and that’s serious business. Vegans demanding integrity from the businesses they support is not hysteria, and it’s not silly.

    • kbeeks

      spot on!

  • http://www.thedailycoop.com Poochie

    I work in Marketing and with Publishers. I know they plan stories far out on the timelines and DO have the ability to get images. How do they get the images for articles like their wedding features, etc. This is totally feasible. Heck, they can use Flickr as a stock source if they need too. Or they can have a staff person such as an existing art director/designer take the shots. With digital photography, we do this for our clients all the time. Stock shots can be expensive too – hundreds to thousands of dollars each. It may be a quick fix but not a cheap one. Ironically, those are two vegan bingos right there – it’s too expensive or too inconvenient to be vegan so ethics be dammed.

    The biggest fear and concern I had is now raising it’s head as this story breaks on the mainstream press – that vegans look like they are 1. constantly craving for what we “can’t have” aka meat and cheese, and 2. that vegan food must not look or taste as good as dead animal filled foods do. How can I entice future vegans to our cause by sharing recipes when I’m not even sure if they’ve been tested or if the picture next to it is “safe”?

    I think it is 100% justifiable for the vegan community to be pissed off about this. VegNews was our sanctuary. We trusted it. The poor choices, cover-up and lact of sincere and apologetic follow through has turned a bad situation worse. I’m not sure if I will cancel my subscription but as my new issue just landed in my mailbox tonight, I know I will not be able to look at each picture and wonder if an animal died and is on the plate.

    • Angie

      I agree with this post so much. All this publicity is going to make Vegetarians and Vegans look like they wish they had meat and dairy when that’s not the case at all. Vegnews is suppose to be ethical and I find nothing ethical about the lies or the photographs that are the complete opposite of what they represent. Being veg is an alternative lifestyle Vegnews could of used alternative options. Vegans and Vegetarians take more picture of food then anyone. Someone would of gladly taken pictures for free. Oh and I would pay the extra bucks for a legitimate honest magazine but I doubt they would have to charge people more to have actual vegan food in a vegan magazine. I can’t believe some of you think this is okay. Vegnews needs to give a REAL apology and be more sensitive to their readers. I wouldn’t boycott them just yet until they decide whether or not they’re going to fix this photo mess. As I saw on another website… “Being Vegan is about being ethical and compassionate.. It isn’t about being easy” Looks like Vegnews took the easy way out.

    • Rachelle

      Cheers!! Well said. They couldn’t find affordable vegan photos and they have a million + subscribers? Who’s in charge of their budget?

    • Lyn

      Holy Crap. Get a life.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hi-Linda/10035993 Hi Linda

      Poochie, as someone who has worked in publication and as someone who has been contacted by vn for one of their articles, I can vouch that they plan out content several months in advance. MPD, your claim that there is no time to seek out real vegan images is poor justification to deceive readers. They publish once every couple months; not every day, hot off the presses daily newspapers that are under time pressure.

      Deception to me has never been ethical, especially for a magazine that calls itself an ethical vegan magazine in it’s so-called ‘response’ to this matter.

      Lastly, it is kind of saddening that some of us are defending vn for its lack of integrity…and saying it’s ‘okay.’ If we don’t voice our opinions about this, should we just ignore, smile, and let it continue while the very truths we stand for in animal rights are staring back at us as slabs of disguised carcasses of suffered animals? It’s not okay.

  • dawn

    I understand what you’re saying.What really bothered me was how they responded.The first person to realize that the photos were not vegan left VegNews a message about it,and I don’t know if the message was polite or nasty,but VegNews’ response was to delete the message,hoping he’d go away,then give a not-so friendly reply. They don’t sound like the nice people I imagined them to be.Right now it’s too soon to make an accurate judgement on the issue,but from what I know so far,in plain terms,it sucks.

  • http://www.healthy-happy-life.com kathy P

    I don’t think anyone is disregarding all the awe-inspiring good that VegNews has done for veganism over the past 11 years. However, just because an organization has been around that long doesn’t give them a free pass in regards to transparency and full disclosure to their paying subscribers and loyal fans.

    Yes people are freaking out, but seriously, it IS quite shocking. And most of the upset comments I have read are incredibly thoughtful – the “angry without restraint” comments are not as prevalent.

    So now here we sit – and you can’t deny that many of VegNews fans are sincerely upset and even betrayed by a publication they love. So no matter how many people are “over reacting” as your sentiment implies – you can’t ignore the comments however impulsive you believe them to be.

    It is so easy for VegNews to right this. And with so much competition in the vegan food photography and recipes world (more competition than 11 yrs ago) – VegNews really has to change their policy to stay in the game. Free blog with vegan photos or not-free magazine with an occasional photoshopped spare rib? Everyone gets to decide on their own.

    11 years is incredibly admirable. But just as times have changed over the years – maybe it’s time for VegNews to change their policy and go vegan for real this time.

    …And for the record, I am a vegan photographer and blogger. And yes, I posted about this story on my blog early this morning – but not because I “jumped on board” – because I am passionately upset about this news and so are many of my readers.

    • Rachelle

      Well said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alistair--Cornell/662323168 Alistair ? Cornell

    It’s paradoxical that real dead animals are being faked as fake meat. While that was pretty bad, once caught out, VegOut should have issued an apology not a series of weak excuses and at least taken down photos of meat from their website – amongst a range of reasonable actions.

    The outrage is now centring more around their unrepentant handling of wilfully and routinely misleading their support base and for that, they deserve the smack that they are getting.

    It’s unethical behavior. They also tried to hide it and they lied about it.

    Most veg people have a strong sense of ethics and this stinks just as bad as a food outlet lying about there being lard in your dinner.

    I’d expect it from some carnist outlets, but I would be much more upset if it was at a veg restaurant.

    They do know better. They are not innocent in their ignorance.

    They broke trust and that’s why they will sadly have a drop in circulation but don’t argue that they’re innocent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kathy-Patalsky/809374497 Kathy Patalsky

    I don’t think anyone is disregarding all the awe-inspiring good that VegNews has done for veganism over the past 11 years. However, just because an organization has been around that long doesn’t give them a free pass in regards to transparency and full disclosure to their paying subscribers and loyal fans.

    Yes people are freaking out, but seriously, it IS quite shocking. And most of the upset comments I have read are incredibly thoughtful – the “angry without restraint” comments are not as prevalent.

    So now here we sit – and you can’t deny that many of VegNews fans are sincerely upset and even betrayed by a publication they love. So no matter how many people are “over reacting” as your sentiment implies – you can’t ignore the comments however impulsive you believe them to be.

    ..and for VegNews to try and cover up this matter by deleting comments – absurd.

    It is so easy for VegNews to right this. And with so much competition in the vegan food photography and recipes world (more competition than 11 yrs ago) – VegNews really has to change their policy to stay in the game. Free blog with vegan photos or not-free magazine with an occasional photoshopped spare rib? Everyone gets to decide on their own.

    11 years is incredibly admirable. But just as times have changed over the years – maybe it’s time for VegNews to change their policy and go vegan for real this time.

    And for the record, I am a vegan photographer and blogger. And yes, I posted a response to this issue early this morning on my blog – but not because I “jumped on board” – because I am passionately upset about this issue and know many of my readers are as well.

  • Kristen

    They did not just “occasionally” use stock photography. It was every issue, every photo of food.

  • Megan

    Yeah, this is all old news by now “MPD” (not a thing).

    You didn’t address the unethical, unprofessional VegNews practices of not crediting stock photographers for their work, or that VegNews censored reader and fan comments addressing this issue prior to QG breaking the story (which was a direct result of VegNews ignoring its fans). I mean, it’s obvious that Ecorazzi has a relationship with VegNews, but it totally sucks that the founder of Ecorazzi is defending censorship and unethical journalistic business practices. As long as it sells more subs, right yo!

    • http://www.ecorazzi.com Michael dEstries

      Hi Megan,

      Just to be clear, the founders of Ecorazzi are myself and Rebecca Carter. MPD has been with the site as an Senior Editor and contributor since 2007.

      As he stated, these are his opinions – which some of the Ecorazzi staff agree with and others do not.

      And Ecorazzi does not have a relationship with VegNews beyond the friendly. Thanks!

  • Mo

    I completely disagree. Not sure I understand how anybody can just brush this off like it doesn’t matter. If it’s a common practice, why was there no disclaimer at the very least? Why did it take VegNews so long to even offer up a response?

    I mean, photoshopping bones out of ribs is knowingly deceiving the readers. I think people have every right to be annoyed and infuriated. So many put faith in this magazine, and what they did was highly misleading.

    It would be one thing if they owned up to it an offered an apology. Instead they issued a sorry justification and no resolution to the matter.

    I just find it really ridiculous to call people “silly” for expecting a picture of vegan tacos to be…vegan tacos.

    • jordan

      Exactly! There IS a simple solution to all of this: VegNews APOLOGIZES to its readers and vows to do better. Why are we, as upset readers, being saddled with the responsibility to do the “right” thing by ignoring the whole situation, while VegNews’ only apparent responsibility here is to keep “celebrating the vegan lifestyle?” I celebrate my vegan lifestyle every day… by being vegan, now where’s my immunity from all responsibility for my actions?

  • Megan

    Also, have to say that I LOVE that NPR, HuffPo, Eater and THE NEW YORK TIMES have covered this scandal. Fuck VegNews.

    http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/meat-discovered-in-meatless-magazine/

  • Butch

    I agree with so many of these comments–you’re completely missing the point, MPD. Stop acting like you’re above this issue and that we, the rational thinkers, are somehow immature. “This issue,” of course, being VegNews’ lying, deceitful behavior.

    Not to mention, professionally? This is such embarrassing behavior for a media “company.” You can tell these people are full-time vegans and amateur journalists. It makes anyone working in media, on- or offline, to just palm their face, inhale deeply, and wish for a new career to escape these total dimwits.

  • http://www.chrissannthemum.com Christine

    I wasn’t aware Vegnews was a vegan magazine. That’s why I don’t take issue with this, I am totally not surprised. Just like PETA, VegNews puts the bottom line first and makes excuses for it as if there is a larger picture than the mass murder of animals, which there is not. If someone/something isn’t vegan then it’s meat based, not plant based, including vegetarians in the current definition so therefore I do not hold VegNews accountable for not being vegan, there weren’t to begin with.

  • http://www.herwinsvegancafe.com herwin

    sure, MPD, a vegan mag uses meat photo’s with their recipes pretending to be faux meat photo’s, and we as vegans can’t complain less to be labeled hysteric.
    any other busines that would willingly mislead their customers that way…

    Just as Kathy says, there are enough profesional vegan photographers, why doesn’t Vegnews use them ?

    11 years ? should we aplaud now ? the last time i did read the Vegnews there wasn’t a single article (of one page or more) about anything closely related to animal rights or an interesting veganism article, most articles were about shallow health topics and which vitamin pills were best. probably articles to satisfy their advertisers, mostly pill and vitiamin sellers.

    the last time i did read Vegnews, they very unfairly trashed one of the best and active vegan groups of this moment, the same group that runs the fastest growing international vegan restaurant chain Loving Hut, a group which also runs a satelite tv station with animal rights and environmental topics.
    so this new issues is really there second scandal this year, not there first.

    back to the topic, it’s simply disgusting that vegans are being tricked in watching meat photo’s at a vegan recipe, and no, that isn’t mass hysteria, it’s very good that any consumer anywhere anytime demands fair busines.

    Luckely there is also the Vegetarian Times we can switch to. Doesn’t have a ton of silly awards each year but the last time i did read it, it DID have serious veganism articles, such as how and why to skip dairy products, and most recipes are vegan.

    http://www.vegetariantimes.com/

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hi-Linda/10035993 Hi Linda

      Thank you, Herwin. I was thinking the EXACT same thing. vn had already proven itself to be void of journalistic integrity to publish outright lies fit for a tabloid magazine with that xpose piece on Supreme Master Ching Hai. This issue just further affirms the downturn of such a publication we so dearly supported for over a decade. It is sad really…but maybe it is sending a msg that readers, the very people supporting the magazine and its publisher’s livelihoods, value ethics from a so-called ethical magazine…and want honesty and transparency.

  • Brenda

    Thank you! I agree 100%!! This was SO counterproductive for veganism at the end of the day. QuarryGirl and her followers are the vegans that omnis hate. And guess what, as an ethical vegan activist I hate them too.

  • Angela

    The excuse that “occasionally using nonvegan stock photography is sometimes the only fiscally possible way to procure high-quality magazine-style images,” is not merely lame, it’s untrue. Vegan bloggers, who themselves, are not paid for their work, produce and publish high-quality, magazine-style images every day. I cannot forgive the editorial staff of VegNews for their lack of good judgment or their failure to apologize for deceiving readers simply because they are vegan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erin-Elizabeth/566480478 Erin Elizabeth

    Nothing is what it seems. The models are airbrushed. Food is often made of glue or other substances. I saw a fascinating video on the subject I cannot locate right now but this article should suffice.

    http://www.learnfoodphotography.com/ethical-food-photography/

    so how do we know the pictures were even of real meat or real white chicken dishes? Chances are it wasn’t even real FOOD!

    Erin

    • Lisa

      How do we know it was real meat? They had to photoshop the bones out.

      Your assertion that these meat photos weren’t really meat goes far beyond ridiculousness.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erin-Elizabeth/566480478 Erin Elizabeth

        Lisa, It was already shown one of the pics wasn’t meat. NOT the one with the bones. That one is presumably meat I would imagine. But at least one was not.

        http://www.facebook.com/notes/erin-elizabeth/wheres-the-beef-quarrygirl-accuses-vegnews-of-using-meat-burger-pic-but-it-reall/10150219844160479?notif_t=note_comment

        Not that you’ll see this or that your real name is Lisa. Next time have some balls with all your various remarks and replies to my posts and show who you really are. I doubt you’re man or woman enough to do so. It’s not ridiculous you are wrong and a coward for hiding who you are.

        Erin

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erin-Elizabeth/566480478 Erin Elizabeth

        Lisa go to my page (click on my name as I’m not afraid to show who I am as you are) and scroll down to “Where’s teh beef” You will see that AFTER I wrote this I discovered that alas, at least one of the pics was indeed not meat just as I guessed. Sorry you would call me ridiculous. You are wrong and a coward for writing various posts and replies to my posts and being anonymous behind all of them. When you have the balls to reveal who you are drop me a line.

        Erin

  • cindy

    Thank you MPD for writing exactly what I was feeling about this entire incident. I am disappointed by the actions of those at the magazine but much more disappointed by the response of many in the vegan community. Why spend so much time policing and condemning vegan companies? Wouldn’t our time be better spent fighting for animals?

  • GoVegan

    Veganism is about ethics. Knowingly and purposefully being dishonest is not ethical. Saying there is a lack of funds is a really lame excuse – how many vegan photographers and vegan cooks would not have loved to contribute to the magazine for a low fee or even free of charge out of a commitment to spread veganism? I certainly know a few. There’s just no excuse for using non-vegan food to model vegan food. It’s disgusting to think that vegans excitedly salivated over food images that turn out to be the very dead corpses we try to avoid when meeting non-vegan friends and family. It’s also a great set back when you look at the fact that this will have hindered the movement in the eyes of non-vegans – “gee, vegan food is so bad that they can’t even picture it and have to show real meat photos.” Again, VegNews should be ashamed for their deceptive means. They certainly are not truthworthy nor ethical, and therefore, shall not be supported by my money. What else have they lied about or will in the future? It has nothing to do with hysterics or being silly. We were dooped and have a right to be angry.

  • http://www.herwinsvegancafe.com herwin

    thanks MDP, for defending unethical journalism, and for accusing the person who did inform us about this, of starting a war.
    ridicilous reasoning, the world upside down.

    wouldn’t you agree that if a magazine can’t afford adequate photo’s, it maybe should print only the recipe and not a photo ?

    thank god, we have sincere people like Quarrygirl for cleaning up the mess and for a fresh breath of sincerity from the heart.

    • http://www.herwinsvegancafe.com herwin

      funny, putting a glossy food photo from a cheap database with a vegan recipe. Result : the dish on the photo simply isn’t the same from the recipe. It pretends that the recipe will produce this glossy food but it just ain’t true.

  • Sharon

    I know so many are weighing, angry about the deception. While I’m a little disappointed I agree with you Michael in that all this in-fighting and bashing a magazine, one that has contributed immensely to advancing vegan issues and showing that a vegan lifestyle can be fun and fabulous, is counterproductive.

    It’s also fueling the argument from staunch, anti-vegan minded peeps that vegan food could never look or taste as good as the flesh of dead animals in it’s various forms, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. Anyway, just some thoughts.

    I say, let’s try to exercise compassion here. We may not agree with the decisions that were made, but the cup is more than half full. Let’s not crucify VegNews. We have all faltered and maybe should have made different choices at times. I will keep my subscription and look for the positive changes that will undoubtedly come out of this glitch in the matrix.

    Peace, love and vegan doughnuts for all!

    • Allison

      Well said, Sharon. A little compassion goes a long way.

  • http://www.screwjeffowens.com Jeff Owens

    The funniest thing to come of all of this are comments like the above by Brenda.

    “Thank you! I agree 100%!! This was SO counterproductive for veganism at the end of the day. QuarryGirl and her followers are the vegans that omnis hate. And guess what, as an ethical vegan activist I hate them too.”

    The people who are siding with Veg News here are actively hating the people that are upset with Veg News.

    What’s really counterproductive here? Calling people out, or hating people for calling people out?

    Who cares how vegans look? NEWSFLASH! Vegans are people, and vast amounts of people are assholes. I’ve noticed, however, that a lot of the times when people are being assholes is when someone else fucked something up. So, again, does being and “asshole” for calling someone out make you wrong? No.

    Veg News fucked up. Get over it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terri-Lynn-Merritts/100001158703649 Terri Lynn Merritts

    Much ado about nothing, as Shakespeare would say. Anyone who has ever read a magazine article or a textbook should know that most of the photos are stock photos. Quarrygirl must be hard up for attention. Poor thing. VegNews does not advocate the use of meat, dairy or eggs and none of their recipes call for any. If you printed recipes with no photos, people would raise hell. Frankly, what is the problem. They bought photos and don’t know what is in the photo just to illustrate the magazine. This isn’t “journalism”. They don’t publish a newspaper. Many food mags use photos of fake food just to illustrate what something will look like as do some architectural and science magazines and even historical ones to show what things would have looked like. There is nothing unethical about this. Those who think so are obviously not in publishing!

  • http://dontfearthevegan.blogspot.com steffi

    MPD, your post was written like someone that depends on VegNews for a source of income and that’s understandable. Job security is important, especially as a writer. Just as VegNews statement was written as a politician unwilling to admit fault. VegNews has always posted columns being hard on people that don’t follow there same mindset so they shouldn’t be surprised that many of their followers would react the same.

    People that I have spoken with are more upset by the stance VegNews has taken after it was initially brought to their attention by their readers. Had they simply come back, apologized, removed the pictures, and vowed to never do it again things would have worked out completely different. Especially in a day and age when their readers are savvy enough to know that there were plenty of vegan picture options available from the same source they took their pictures from.

    At the end of the day they are in retail and their customers are everything. There are so many bloggers out there that pass on the same information for free that VegNews should be willing to go the extra mile to appease the readers that are supporting them. I manage a successful retail establishment and if I ever treated my customers with the same lack of integrity or made excuses for bad customer service I would be out of a job. Hopefully they will get in touch with what their customer needs are and make this right.

  • Emmy

    “Today we will have wasted thousands of collective hours ranting and raving over a handful of stock photos when we could be focusing on the issues that truly matter.”

    I think that you missed the point. I do not disagree that it must be very difficult to survive as an independent magazine and they have done exceptionally well. However the issue isn’t that they used meat photos, the issue is that they sold them as vegan. They deliberately covered up that they were meat. In fairness to their readers they should have clearly identified the photos as a) not a picture of the actual recipe and b) that it contains meat products. This would have given their readers the ability to chose whether they bought a magazine with meat photos in it or not. They obviously thought vegan readers would not buy the magazine, so being deceitful was the better way to go. When exposed they then tried to cover it up. So I disagree because I think honesty, integrity and acting ethically are values that matter.

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  • Marisa

    Thanks, Mike, for writing this article and for offering another perspective. It was brave, knowing the backlash it would have in the vegan community. VegNews took a major risk, misled and miscalculated its readers, and now I hope they’ll take this opportunity to change their policies. But I agree with you that we must take a large, collective breath and think of the larger picture. It would be a real shame to lose this valuable publication that has been such a force for good and has done so much to bring veganism to a larger audience. They did apologize, and now I think it’s time for some creative, innovative thinking around this issue – a vegan stock photo site, perhaps?

    • http://www.screwjeffowens.com Jeff Owens

      They have actually not apologized. They wrote a letter full of excuses with a giant void where an apology should have been. Everyone is still waiting for an apology and a change in policy. People keep harping about how hard it is to get good-quality, publishable, vegan photos but that’s just a load of hoo-hockey.

      Veg News needs to apologize and change their policy or there will continue to be this ridiculous separation that only exists because there are still people defending them.

  • Stephon Agave

    Michael DuDell

    I’m open to your thought that using community contributed pictures is not as simple as a solution as it sounds. However, VegNews didn’t even try.

    In the comment section under their statement several people who are professional photographers offered their services in exchange for a nominal free or for the sake of notoriety.

    Several people also pointed out that VegNews used stock photos of hamburgers when stock photos of vegetable burgers were available.

    Reading your message I got the impression that you are painting everyone who has a problem with this as a selfish hothead indulging their emotions. I don’t think you understand why this is important to people and why it is inaccurate.

    I wish I was more articulate and wasn’t as fed up with the issue as I am so that I can explain it to you.

    In the end I guess it doesn’t matter. Whether you or the management of VegNews understands the feelings of their market people are going to vote with their feet. The message that this is not a good thing for someone in their business to do will have been received.

    I would have preferred something other than a brute force message.

  • http://www.choosingraw.com Gena

    Hey Michael,

    I’m also a VN contributor (columnist) and really appreciate this post. Not because my ego is attached to the magazine so deeply that I can’t see its flaws, but rather because activism, while new to me, has taught me nothing but the hard lesson that emotion must often yield to strategy.

    I think the whole business is a shame, and I wish the stock photos used had been all plant-based (I think it’s ridiculous to suggest that stock photos should be de facto forbidden; coming, as I do, from a publishing background, I know that’s not possible). I also think the apology might have been more sanguine. But I believe that we have to weigh the overwhelming good that VegNews does against this one error, and clearly see that, in context, it can be forgiven–especially if they can keep doing what they do for animals.

    G

  • http://www.thedailycoop.com Poochie

    Betrayal of trust aside, they’ve done a huge disservice to their readers, especially new and transitioning vegans. I love to cook & bake. As a new vegan I was very worried about how to make that change & still bake etc. I was inspired by the results in the recipe pictures which I looked to for guidance. Now I know that I could never achieve those results. How disheartening would that have been for me 3 years ago. VegNews’ choices have hurt us deeply.

  • Donna

    while we were spending hours yesterday on FB reading/writing about VegNews, the Senate passed the bill stripping wolves of protection. I can’t help but wonder what the result would have been if our Vegnews hours had been spent making phone calls to our senators.

    • Robert

      Donna, sadly it wouldn’t have changed a damn thing. Politicians, aside from a few, have been bought and paid for by the corporations and lobbyists. Hopefully PETA will run a campaign listing those who voted for this. People can then vote them out of office and hopefully get new supporters in to correct this.

  • http://www.meartisforpussies.org John Joseph

    Once again it just proves that people in the veg community are way too uptight. I have never in my life seen a more judgmental group of people on the face of planet earth. And these are supposed to be the conscience ones? Thats why most people in mainstream society want nothing to do with them. I don’t sit behind a computer all day, looking for faults, typing away my verbal diarrhea, I’m always traveling, touring speaking to the public who are not veg and that is exactly what they say. Maybe its because their evolution stopped at FOOD. Food is not the end all people, it is a step in the progress of higher consciousness. Some of these people have take it way too far. Its quite painful being around the fault-finders who do nothing but sit on their asses and talk shit on the internet all day and do nothing to change the planet. I’ve been plant-based since 1981 and sorry but them is da’ fax y’all. They attack many good efforts anyone does and slander people just because they don’t agree with their outlook on things. Veg News is a great publication that really pushes a positive agenda for planet earth. So to all the ones criticizing get a friggin’ life already. GO do something (+) for a change. John Joseph (author “Meat is For Pussies” – you got a problem with that?) (((( :

    • http://veganstreams.com Elaine

      WOW John, you sure have a dark perspective of Vegans! I don’t know these Vegans you speak of from your “lowest consciousness” within you! This now explains for me your degrading and sexist book title! Best to you with “doing something (+) for a change” instead of “fault finding” of other Vegans!

      • http://www.meatisforpussies.org John Joseph

        Elaine, I happen to personally know a lot of the ones they criticize continuously for everything. So i get to hear first hand stories. Seems the hippies back in the day were much more compassionate toward ‘ALL’ souls. They weren’t doing to gain status but rather peace on earth. I have compassion for all, humans too and I’m anything but dark even in my opinions, they are just honest. And btw I don’t expect someone who doesnt come from where i do to understand the title of my book. Don’t care either, funny thing is most of the meat eaters both men and women alike LOVED IT and the title, and converted, it was the the so-called ones who are for saving the animals who talked the most shit about it. Do I walk around calling myself a vegan with a big V on my chest? Hell No. As I said its only part of the solution to this material world. The issue is VegNews though, and all i have to say is maybe they did make a mistake, but what they’ve done to save the planet and animals far outweighs that and i can forgive them. The rest should get off their asses and go do sumpin’ besides being a (as Lyn says) militant keyboard jockeys. I know tons of really cool amazing people who are vegan, its the few lame-ass internet shit talkers who annoy me and the rest of the planet, but hey I don’t have to live with them … and thank God. MPD love your stuff brother! j

    • Lyn

      You are SOOOOOOOO right! It’s so easy for these militant keyboard jockeys to rant and rave all day and all they accomplish is giving vegans/vegetarians a bad name. No one likes militant jerks shoving their opinions down their throats. You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. It’s too bad they don’t put the same passion into something more useful.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cheryl-llebrand/795961444 Cheryl Ållebrand

      Pot calling the kettle black, John? You’re being quite judgemental. Don’t go all GWB on us and use false logic that any criticism is counterproductive. Critique is often needed for improvement.

  • Megan

    Donna,

    Oh boy. The wolves wouldn’t have faired better if this entire VegNews scandal hadn’t broken. Get with the program. VegNews is an inflated vanity project; a circle jerk, if you will, for the vegan community. It’s not an activism group that’s really making change in the world. It’s an unprofessional and unethical magazine printing recipes of vegan seitan next to pictures of animal flesh, and three month old news that no one cares about anymore.

    The bottom line is that even on a normal day, while the wolves were getting screwed, VegNews editors would be stuffing their faces with coconut ice cream and debating which stock photo to call vegan for next month’s issue. Duh.

    • Donna

      Hey there Megan,
      I didn’t say that it was because of the scandal breaking that the bill passed. I merely wondered if activists had spent as much time on direct action as they did on FB posting. And I am with the program – for 22 years now.

  • Tommy

    I commented that this is an integrity issuelast night, but after reading some of these other posts…I wanted to add another blurb.

    The rhetoric about vegetarians and vegans being judgmental and uptight is a little old. A magazine that stands for one a set of beliefs did something that goes against those beliefs and deliberately misled their readers. They tried to hide it and did not apologize for it.

    In another situation, I don’t believe we’d see so many comments saying get over it or this group of people is so judgmental.

    What if a pro-choice newsletter had a product advertisement from a company that supports pro-life legislation? What if a politician you elected changed their stance on an important issue? What if the company that does sustainability consulting for your business doesn’t recycle? These are all betrayals of trust and misleading and if you were affected you’d have reason to be upset.

    • http://www.screwjeffowens.com Jeff Owens

      Hopefully the “get over it” comment isn’t directed at me. When I said, “Veg News fucked up. Get over it,” it was a plea for people to get off their high horse that Veg News is above guilt. It was a call for the to “get over” the lies and get with the fact that Veg News should be held accountable.

      You may not have been talking about me at all though, and I agree with everything you said. :)

  • http://veganstreams.com Elaine

    Rape and murder of sentient beings not emotional issues for Ecorazzi!? Thank you for being honest, and now I “also” will no longer be following your financially motivated agendas! Just in case Ecorazzi has any heart and soul remaining…your form of Veganism – sadly – appears to be confined to the human-centric mind. I understand this is difficult for an entity/organization with limited values/agendas to comprehend, but, MANY are also Vegan in their hearts and souls!

  • Lyn

    It’s idiocy. These people are splitting hairs over trite crap. Like there aren’t any other mis-representations in life. The world is so brutally honest. We can trust everything that comes out of politicians mouths. Honestly, getting upset over some food porn. Istock photos are cheap, thats why they use them. Aren’t there bigger issues? Vegnews posted on their FB page about the The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act —that would phase out research on 1,000 chimpanzees and retire around 500 currently in US laboratories. You think any of these people are even REMOTELY HAPPY about that??? No—they are all whining and crying about the photos. Militant, radical vegans give every vegan and vegetarian a bad name. http://vegnews.com/web/articles/page.do?pageId=3162&catId=8

    • http://veganstreams.com Elaine

      Are you a Vegan or an animal welfare campaign (SIC) money maker?

    • Rachelle

      Disagree–esp. since VegNews isn’t the only source for animal related news.

      You’re saying vegans shouldn’t be upset about stock photos because there are bigger issues to be upset about. Well vegans can be upset about both–because the issue here isn’t about stock photos at all–it’s about trust and integrity. No one likes being deceived. Maybe if the mag had disclosed the source of the photos from jump, this would not be a big deal to many vegans. Many still might not like it, but they would have understood and they would have appreciated the HONESTY…It’s the finding out later from an investigation and getting a weak ass apology part that is pissing most people off.

      No one is claiming to be a purist here–but a bit of honesty goes a long way. We know when politicians are running for office it is popular to say “no new taxes” and we generally don’t believe them based on past experience, so when they do raise taxes, we aren’t shocked, maybe a bit angry, but we eventually get over it and move on.

      This was a trust issue for most vegans and they feel betrayed. So saying suck it up–it’s only photos while it’s still fresh is dismissive and frankly just plain silly. People WILL move on eventually, but right now they’re pissed off–let them be pissed off.

      • kbeeks

        great response Rachelle!

    • http://www.screwjeffowens.com Jeff Owens

      Of course they posted about the Great Ape Act. They’re Veg News! Which is exactly why we all expect them to not use photos of meat…

  • http://vegansaurus.com Megan Rascal

    Amen! Well sad.

  • http://vegansaurus.com Megan Rascal

    Amen! Well said.

  • Heros of Self-Deception

    This article’s argument reads like this.
    “It’s not important.”

    Life and death important? No, (Well, maybe for the animal killed for meat photography it was, but I’ll exclude that from the discussion.)

    But it is important enough to a large chunk of the readership and represented community of vegans and vegetarians? To claim that it’s not important is being dismissive.

    If vegans want to be taken seriously, we absolutely must police our own and absolutely be critical of how we represent ourselves and each other.

    Non-vegan food photography in a vegan magazine makes veganism look like a joke. I’m really glad that a vegan blog site broke this story and not one of the veganism’s many cultural competitors. If this kills VegNews, that’s a shame, but my guess is that they will smarten up, enact a new food photography policy and be all the more stronger for it.

    Oh, and the argument, “There are more important things, it’s not a perfect world, so don’t be critical of wrongs or try to effect change” is the same dismissive rhetoric vegans, vegetarians, advocates for animals, feminists, environmentalists (and add your pet social justice issue here) always has to listen to.

    Yeah, there’s a war or a starving child somewhere in the world, that’s a great excuse to do nothing since anything else is less important.

    • http://www.screwjeffowens.com Jeff Owens

      Thank you for posting this.

      “I won’t pretend that we’re on the winning end, but when did that matter before anyway?”

  • Brendan H.

    Excellent post, MPD. It’s sad that so many vegans can’t see the forest for the trees here. If they can get this worked up over a minor-at-best issue, I envy how trouble free their lives are.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hi-Linda/10035993 Hi Linda

      Brendan, I’m sure MPD wrote this knowing he himself would receive some backlash. If in the 21st century we are not holding a publication to journalistic integrity and simple honesty — when will we? Honesty and transparency need to start somewhere. Bravo to a rising consciousness in the world that recognizes these issues are important. If you can’t stand for something, then you will fall for everything.

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  • http://www.herwinsvegancafe.com herwin

    what Vegnews claims, that this is “Industry Standards” is such a lame excuse, and simply not true.

    Many vegan commenters suggested that if Vegnnews can’t afford a paid photographer, why not call in the help of these so many vegan photographers out there ?

    Can’t be done says Vegnnews, too dificult, you vegans don’t know how to make a mag so STFU, is their attitude.

    I myself am not a profesional photographer by a long shot, but for one issue of the Japanese high quality glossy mag Veggie Steady Go i was asked to make some photo’s in the city i live in , Bangkok.
    With my 200$ camera i have made photo’s and these photo’s were used by Veggie Steady Go. I was honered that they asked me, credited me for it, and was glad to do it for no fee.

    In fact, that is policy of Veggie Steady Go, to ask fellow veggies in other places to review and make pics, and use these pics from these non profesional vegan photographers. The result ? Extremely good photo’s with just the right kind of veggie atmosphere and profesional looking, because in the HQ of VST they can photoshopp the images.

    same same for Vegetarian Era, the magazine from Loving Hut, who, by the way, just last year was so unfairly trashed in the Vegnews.

    LBNL, i myself have written and published some vegan guidebooks, and only the idea of using istock photos and pretending they would be the real deal, infuriates me, because it’s just plain misleading.

    NO WAY IT IS NORMAL OR ACCEPTED TO MISLABEL PHOTOS AND PASS THEM FOR SOMETHING THEY AREN’T, at least not for quality magazines, something we all expected that Vegnews would be, right ?
    That they did feel comfortable with it, is telling.

    Another commenter on another blog has discovered that even some food photo’s from restaurant reviews aren’t the actual dishes from that restaurant but also from istock.

    I say, if you don’t have a photo of Michael jackson for your mag, don’t use a photo from a lookalike and try to pass it off as the real thing ! That’s stupid, misleading, and an accident waiting to happen, and don’t start blaming your readers because they don’t accept unethical journalism.

    Guess what, i will be reading the Vegetarian Times from now on, yeah, its vegetarian and not vegan, but it’s vegan friendly, even read an article about skipping dairy, the recipes and photo’s ain’t fake,they are really tried by themselves, and it’s just as much as Vegnnews was, promoting the veggie lifestyle.
    They only don’t have flashy Awards to give away by the dozen, but who knows, maybe in the future.

    Anyway, this all has been very uplifting to see these many comments from fellow vegans who feel the same as me, and express it with clear and sound arguments.

  • stephanie

    Blaming Quarry Girl is like the factory farms blaming the undercover activist that caught them abusing animals. And we all know how we feel about THAT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cheryl-llebrand/795961444 Cheryl Ållebrand

    What if the images they wanted us to salivate over were of cut up humans? What if humans were murdered to create images that earned money by being sold to VegNews? Would you still feel the same — that they were just doing the fiscally responsible thing?

    Rather poorer quality photography or run the recipe without pictures. For those of us who believe meat is murder, this disguised splatter food porn is not okay. Why should that be so surprising to you?

    False advertising. While I appreciate the recipes and many things they have done, VegNews has lost credibility in my eyes and I feel sick to my stomach.

    • fanya

      It’s a non-argument agree 100% with MPD. these types of arguments are exactly why veganism will stay on the fringe. If every vegan really believed in truth in advertising they be living a much emptier life. Granted a much purer life–but much emptier living via the absolute truth and no compromise. Start with your everyday items how many do you research to see if they use animal products. You would be beyond shocked.

      To Vegnews: I wouldn’t sweat this situation too much. Many will not only replace those that have left, but some of those that left will come back to the fold wagging their tails behind them. I would set up some internships with photography students to keep things current.

      Choose your battles wisely Cheryl and Company.

  • Stephon Agave

    @Michael Dudell;

    This is the best quote I have seen in this issue summing up why people are upset:


    “So do they explain WHY I want to buy a vegan magazine to look at meat?

    Yes- because they are packaging veganism in an appealing way!”

  • Stephon Agave

    This is one of the best quotes about the issue I have read:

    “So do they explain WHY I want to buy a vegan magazine to look at meat? Yes- because they are packaging veganism in an appealing way!”

  • Stephanie

    Although, much out the outrage has been a bit hysterical, it is more than reasonable that vegans want to open their vegan lifestyle magazine and not see pictures of corpses. It is not hysterical for me to upset by the fact that I drooled over what I thought were vegan riblets but were actually pictures of a mutilated and abused pig served as food.

    Veg News has been very dismissive of these concerns and has failed to take responsibility of the intentional cover up of using non vegan photos, failed to apologize for using these photos, and failed to say the would STOP using those photos. Veg News use of non vegan stock photography has spread to the NYTimes and other publications and has now become an international embarrassment for vegans by reinforcing the false notion that vegan food is not good.

    When I found out this upsetting news, I did not grab my pitchfork but instead presumed that Veg News would be respectful of their readers and apologize and change their policy. That was all I needed to move on and continue to read the otherwise fabulous publication. Unfortunately, this has not happened. I am waiting for Veg New to issue an apology and to agree not to use pictures of dead animals in their magazine.

    • Don

      They don’t care. All they care about is money. Stop buying their magazine and boycott future sponsors. This is sick.

  • http://beforewisdom.com beforewisdom

    Michael Parrish DuDell;

    I’m offended by your response.

    I’ve seen many instances of hot headed devotees of a cause indulging their emotions at the expense of their cause. I don’t think this is the case with the majority of people who have a problem with what VegNews did. The mission of VegNews is to package veganism in an appealing way. There is something legitimately flawed in doing that by using pictures of meat. That is what makes using stock photos in this situation different from the standard practice of other magazines using stock photos in *other*, different, situations.

    I thought you point about using community contributed pictures being more problematic than most people are aware of was an interesting one. I had a problem with your delivery of that point. Quite frankly, it came off as condescending. “Silly upset whiny internet people, in the big grown up world of professional journalists there are many important details that you don’t know anything about as to why your quaint idea could not work.”.

    You and the management of VegNews are out of touch with your readership.

    I’m offended by the condescending tone of your post, the shooting of the messenger ( QuarryGirl ) and painting everyone who is upset about this issue in a negative light.

    I am removing ecorazzi from my RSS reader.

    • Don

      Choice words. Bravo.

    • http://www.herwinsvegancafe.com herwin

      Using photo’s from the veg community problematic ? Japan’s glossy high quality veggie mag Veggie Steady Go, available in all major bookshops around Japan, does it all the time, they actually ask and involve ordinary veggie people and use their “non profesional” photographs, and as far as i know, for free, but with credentials of course.

      So no, Vegnews, it’s not “Industry Standard” and it can be done, and it IS done, with excellent results.

      Other point, i just took one issue of VN and counted a whopping 34 pages of adds, so please don’t lets pretend that VN is an idealistic mag made in the garage with money earned from washing the neighbours car, because it’s not, it has (had) thousands of subscribers and many advertisers and many fans who did buy the mag, in short it was a profesional mag without enough income.

    • lisa

      i agree. the condescending attitude of MPD is arrogant, off putting and insulting to his many readers.

      MPD could have easily expressed his support of VegNews without being totally dismissive and disrespectful for others that may not agree. Not very tuned into your readership I’d say.

    • lisa

      MPD- What a dismissive, condescending and arrogant response to much of your reader base. It seems that VN is not alone in being out of touch with their readership.

  • Bridget

    How dare you blame the whistle blower!

    This is all about the philosophy of being vegan. If you are a vegan because you are diametrically opposed to using animals as sustenance and you find out that your vegan magazine uses photos of non-vegan food, it is of course unacceptable.

    Placing a standard disclaimer in the magazine explaining the lack of, and expense of, vegan food photos would have been honest. Hiding it proves, in my mind, they knew vegans would NOT be happy. I think that there were many options the magazine could have gone with, but they chose deception.

  • fanya

    If you know anything about food styling this is done all the time.

  • Don

    Slack. Very, very slack and very, very greedy. I have doubts they have a million people reading this magazine. And 11 years in the biz and they don’t have the managerial skills to provide an authentic photo? Really? Given their response I can only hope the rag dies and a more honest and creditable magazine with ethics surfaces. There’s plenty of room and a big audience–especially these days. As for this vegan, I’ll be watching carefully who advertises there. They’ve done everyone involved in the movement a huge disservice.

  • Katherine

    Thank you so much for this reasoned response to an absurd situation. This is the sort of thing that makes me embarrassed to be vegan! They’re totally making fun of us over at the New York Times, just because of this hullabaloo. I can’t believe people are so upset about this.

  • myer

    Are people really just realizing that VegNews uses stock images (of non-veg foods) now?

    This has been comically obvious for as long as I have been paying attention. I’m not offended by it, I think it’s a bit stupid, but just sort of accept it as the “nature of the beast” so to speak.

    I don’t think you should show a hamburger and talk about veggie burgers, but is it really something to be outraged about? To me its just one of many common inconsistencies in the veg world.

    It is also very common with other veg projects. I have noticed dozens of vegan establishments use stock photos (of non-veg food) in their advertisements, menus and other promotional materials.

    Seriously, it’s a bit absurd but is it really something to wage a serious campaign over?

    People need to get over this and focus their energy on bigger issues.

  • EB

    Thank you for this, Michael. I completely agree. QG made her ego a priority and has set the vegan movement back. She should be the one apologizing.

  • ddb

    OK, so you promote veganism, a lifestyle in which animals are not exploited for the appetites, convenience or greed of humans. Then you show me pictures of the great things I can make/buy/eat as a vegan. But the pictures you display are not actually representations of that lifestyle. And then you argue, “Get over it. We had to use images of food that was prepared by exploiting animals. It would have been inconvenient to follow the rules. It would have cut into our funds. It would not be as appetizing.” See the problem?