by Michael dEstries
Categories: Eats.

Ever wonder how VegNews gets some of their faux-meat recipes to look just like the real thing? I think you know where this is going.

In an embarrassing reveal that’s pissing off a whole lot of people, website QuarryGirl yesterday posted an article exposing the veg-centric magazine for passing off stock photos of meat dishes as plant-based alternatives.

“It’s sad, then, that the pictures we’ve been drooling over for years are actually of MEAT!,” the article reads. “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.”

QuarryGirl goes on to post examples of meaty images taken from iStockPhoto (a cheap, online photo sourcing service) and used in such recipes as “Vegan Spare Ribs”, “Fast Food-style Vegan Burgers”, and “Vegan Stews”. They even cite an example where the bones were photoshopped out of one of the images.

Another puzzling question: Does VegNews then even bother to make the very recipes they’re gushing about? One commenter on the QG site said that this basically confirms why her meat-free dishes were never able to come out at all like the photos.

It’s also coming to light that the practice of using meat images as vegan ones has been happening for quite some time.

“As a former VegNews intern I can tell you that this magazine doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt,” said one commenter named Kristen. “Everyone involved in its production is fully aware of the “meat and dairy photo policy” and they actively encourage their art director and interns to search for pictures of meat and dairy foods to masquerade as pictures of vegan food.”

VegNews has yet to comment on their photo policy. Check out the full article over on QuarryGirl.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • kbeeks

    This is totally appalling! I am so disheartened and disappointed. I loved VegNews and eagerly waited for each issue to come out and now I just feel sick.

  • HGTG

    Very silly!

    Faux meats make good pictures. Here are a few burgers, chicken patties and dogs that are meat-free and look like the real thing (Boca, Lightlife and other brands).

    The camera is cheap so the pictures are a little blurry, but these look real enough!

    • Lars

      Sorry, HGTG. Those pictures look like crap and make vegan food look disgusting. If VegNews would use pictures like this they would to a huge favor to the meat industry by making sure no meat eater would even try the transition.

      • HGTG

        I wasn’t implying VegNews should use pictures like THOSE. Please read the comment thoroughly. What I was saying is that VegNews could easily use veggie meats and TAKE THEIR EXPENSIVE, HIGH-POWERED CAMERAS and take better pictures with greater clarity and resolution. Of course those pictures are amateur. But VegNews can get professional photographers and take better quality photos of the same faux meats which look real.

  • Matt Miner End Bsl

    Saddening to me, besides the fact that I’ve been duped by VegNews for years, is that they’ve been paying stock photographers to take pictures of dead animals as “food.”

    To me it’s not any different than buying the meat themselves – they’re paying someone else to take pictures of dead animals, stimulating demand for dead animal food photos.

    It’s not right.

    • Jasmine

      So true, Matt. Didn’t even think about that. Very disappointed. VegNews needs to hear this. I’ve been reading responses on Fb and Twitter all morning and no one has brought this up – hope you will email VegNews with this very important point!!

  • VeggieTart

    This is utterly appalling.

  • Nick

    Absolutely disgusting. Erik Marcus has some good points on how VegNews could remedy the situation. I don’t think an apology is sufficient enough.

  • Franklin

    Canceling my subscription TODAY!!!

  • AndreasNYC

    Definitely disappointing and I hope they address this responsibly. I’ve got to say I’m a LIFETIME Subscriber and will Stay a lifetime subscriber given the number of animals they’ve helped with their work.

    Do I want them to change this? Yes.

    Are they great and instrumental to saving animals? Yes!

  • Lola8

    Wow….this is scary!
    I used to adore Vegnews then Skinny bitch author and Dan Piraro started to write articles insulting anybody different from them, vegetarians included, that choice broke the magic between me and Vegnews, now this news……they’re unbeliveable, a delusion.

  • Jessica Sideways

    It’s always disgusting when fraud is perpetuated but I do have to say, the irrational fear of meat that most vegetarians exhibit and try to spread/perpetuate is disgusting too. So the prospect of a vegetarian magazine perpetuating fraud is not surprising, as vegetarianism tries to spread an irrational fear of meat and all things tasty.