by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals.

Finally offering the type of response I hinted they should pursue, VegNews owned up last night and issued a sincere apology to their readers.

“We screwed up,” the letter reads. “With regard to our use of symbolic imagery in VegNews, our readers got it right. We wholeheartedly apologize. We assure you that we will never again use non-vegan photographs in VegNews.”

For many readers, those are the words they were waiting to hear ever since QuarryGirl first broke the story of the mag using meaty photos to represent tasty vegan meals.

“Thanks VegNews,” wrote one commenter on their site. “You really redeemed yourselves with this letter. As a reader, I truly appreciate the fact that you took the time to listen to us and are working towards changing for the better.”

As listed in the their letter, some of those new changes include a vow to use only custom vegan photography with recipes – and if stock photos are ever needed, a guarantee that those too will not contain meat or dairy products.

Most interesting is the mag’s plan to “build and host a vegan photo bank” to allow other publications to easily access animal-friendly stock photos. So out of this controversy could come even more opportunity to thrive and help the vegan community.

“We exist only to serve you and the vegan cause, and are grateful that you care so passionately about our work,” the letter concludes. “The VegNews team is committed to restoring the trust we have earned for eleven years.”

Let it start now. What did you think of the apology?

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 →
  • stephanie

    This apology is exactly what SHOULD have been offered in the first place. Unfortunately, for me, I am wary. It comes off to me that they only decided to do this once they realized how much readership they are losing and so many major non-veg blogs reporting on it.

    I am grateful that they FINALLY did the right thing, and what they SAY they are planning sounds great. I accept their apology but still canceled my subscription and have decided to keep an eye on things till that actually prove that they are going to do all they say and not just try to fool everyone all over again.

    I have high hopes but I am not about just to believe everything they say when it took so much and so long for them to do the right thing.

  • Rachelle

    A fine apology. :)

  • Heros of Self-Deception


    I’ll quote myself from an earlier comment I make on the subject:

    “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.”

  • Emily

    I was happy to see them (finally) apologize but I still feel that if their first half-assed “apology” had placated everyone then this second (actual?) apology would never have happened and there would never have been any policy changes, which makes me feel a lot less affection for VegNews than I had a month ago. *shrug* Ehhh, we’ll see what happens…

  • herwin

    Vegnews tried its very best to stiffle the first replies by sending rather harrassing mails to the whistleblower, deleting comments, playing the victim, their first letter was very unapologetic, it was the ignorant reader who didn’t know and understand anything about publishing, etc, and only when they seriously realised this storm woulnd’ blow over, they probably paidf a copywriter to write the “we screwed up” apology, and excellent letter with an excellent plan for vegan photo’s, excellent but hardly from the heart i would say. Pressure from their advertisers and advice from some high profile vegan chumps, not because Vegnnews suddenly started listening to their readers.

    If Vegnnews really listened to their readers or cared for them, they would have honered the petition in which 584 people ask Vegnnews for an article written by Will Tuttle, an author who writes regularly for Vegnnews, to write a more fair article about Ching Hai, the founder of the Loving Huts.
    All who remember, just last year Vegnnews published a very unfair and unjournalistic article (it’s an article rehushing slurs and smears from the internet, instead of original material) about Ching Hai, who is an active vegan herself, as well as all her students, who daily promote veganism by opening vegan restaurant, etc.

    the last days we have seen how tough the Vegnnews people are, only after a tough fight they will “listen” to their readers.

    this is my favorite line from the apology…
    “We exist only to serve you and the vegan cause”
    yeah right.

  • Carissa Thorpe

    I’m glad they came around and did the right thing. I’m interested to see how things play out within the next couple of months. At any rate, even though it’s been bad publicity, it’s certainly given them a lot of it, including in more mainstream media.

    There’s already a site that’s been started and is launching officially tomorrow for Earth Day as an answer to this huge oversight on VegNews’ part:

  • john m

    We have a Loving Hut Vegan Cafe in Cincinnati. It is a booming business, 5 days a week. VEgNews still has not apologized for the nasty article about this fine group. I am still waiting. They have done more to promote Veganism than VegNews could ever dream of doing.