VegNews Photo Controversy Outrages Vegan Community

BlogHer Original Post

This week, QuarryGirl of QuarryGirl.com launched into a rant against VegNews, a vegan magazine that has been using photos that contained meat and other non-vegan-friendly ingredients to illustrate vegan recipes.

"Our conclusion, therefore, is that VegNews has serious editorial integrity issues, and cannot be trusted," QuarryGirl writes. QuarryGirl won an award from VegNews magazine in 2009 -- ironically, it was the "Scandal Breakers of the Year" honor -- and she decided to mail the award back to the magazine in protest.

VegNews has responded to the controversy via a letter on their site, which read in part:

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 an interview this evening, VegNews Founder and Publisher Joseph Connelly said, "VegNews is obviously very sorry. We've obviously upset many of our readers."


Image purchased by BlogHer from istockphoto.com --QuarryGirl's full rant, which includes several comparisons of photos in the magazine to stock photos of meaty dishes, is posted on her blog.

However, Connelly pointed out that the stock photo of a vegan burger used as an example in QuarryGirl's post was, indeed, what the magazine claimed it was. "I'm not trying to diminish what happened, but it's ironic that the photographer is vegetarian and the burger itself is vegan," he said. "Magazine publishing is obviously not an easy thing to do. We made an error in judgment, and for that, we're truly sorry."

What do you think of a vegan's magazine's Photoshopping images of meat to run next to vegan recipes?

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