VegNews… or not?

Hi Everyone! 🙂

Long time no blog! I honestly do not know where 2011 has gone so far, but it is blowing my mind that it is April already and that my first year of college is almost done. I have been swamped with all of my school work, sorority life, and teaching 9 Zumba classes each week (plus maintaining my regular workouts!) All of this going going going has led me to get a semi bad case of MONO! YUCK! Whats new in your lives? I am beyond out of the loop and miss you all bunches!

Not only am I extremely exhausted, but my lymph nodes are swollen, I have no appetite and I cannot work out or go to classes – which STINKS! This means all of my regular Zumba classes are cancelled, and with final exams right around the corner I cannot afford to be missing my lab’s and lectures. And yet I am bed bound and find myself lying here wishing that I had given my body a break and maybe I wouldn’t have gotten sick. Have you ever gotten mono – how did you cope?

One of the reasons I am penning this post is there has been a recent controversy regarding the beloved VegNews magazine. The drama? They were caught using non-vegan stock photographs in their magazine and in their online publications. 

Quarry Girl, vegan blogger, brought to light that VegNews magazine has actually been using cheaper stock photography and claiming them to be vegan. For example they are photoshopping bones out of cuts of prime rib to make them look vegan.

Photo courtsey of Quarry Girl
Photo courtsey of Quarry Girl

Personally I am fascinated by this controversy and have been looking at it from all angles. VegNews magazine has been providing us with up to date main stream VEGAN news since the early 2000’s, and make being vegan easy and accessible to all people out there. Why does one slip up seem to ruin the integrity of the magazine? Well for starters is that they have been knowingly putting non-vegan photographs online and in their magazine, and claiming them to be vegan.

Quoting them from their apology letter to their readers…

In an ideal world we would use custom-shot photography for every spread, but it is simply not financially feasible for VegNews at this time. In those rare times that we use an image that isn’t vegan, our entire (vegan) staff weighs in on whether or not it’s appropriate. It is industry standard to use stock photography in magazines—and, sadly, there are very few specifically vegan images offered by stock companies. In addition, it’s exceedingly challenging to find non-stock imagery that meets the standard necessary for publication.

Now I know nothing about running a magazine, but I know that it is not cheap. With all that VegNews does do, certainly they should be forgiven and given an opportunity to make this right with its readers. My understanding is that they have been using non-vegan images for years, and once they were actually caught and notified by a reader who was letting them know that they were using stock photographs, and the comments were ignored and called mean-spirited and inappropriate.

My proposed solution? Find vegan photographers who would be willing to take beautiful vegan images of the food being displayed in the magazine, and then pay them either by letting them advertise for free in the magazine OR by giving them a small sum. Actually I am almost sure of it that there are vegan photographers out there who would do it for FREE since VegNews is such an acclaimed and well-respected source of all vegan news.

I know some are talking about canceling their subscriptions, and boycotting the magazine, I however will still continue to support VegNews. VegNews for me is a constant source of thought-provoking news, up to date worldly information, and yummy recipes. I am willing to give them a chance to make this situation right.

Michal ♥

Question of the day – What are your thought about the VegNews controversy? Do you think they are in the right or the wrong? Are you going to continue to buy their magazine if you did, or refrain from doing so in the future?

2 thoughts on “VegNews… or not?

  1. Hey girl! Wow I was just thinking about how much I’ve been missing your blog! Glad to see a post! But sorry to hear you’re sick! Get better soon!

    This is the first time I’ve heard of VegNews controversy but am pretty dissappointed to hear this. However, I do agree with your thoughts and would most likely -if I were a subscriber- to keep on supporting them. If only for the recipes and facts (:

    xxx Get better soon!!!

  2. Michal, hope you’re well soon. I’ve been checking your blog daily. Maybe some friends can do a study group bedside to get you up to speed for exams, while helping themselves at the same time.

    I think VegNews is missing out on a million and one blogs in which the hosts cook vegan food daily and post photographs of it. If they’re relying on stock photos, they’re just not being resourceful.

    I think they can be forgiven though. Maybe your readers who also have vegan oriented blogs will send them pics! Vegan blogs are very boutique online magazines, and selling those many photos is a good way to make money. VegNews should have contests for submissions.

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