The vegan world was scandalized when news broke yesterday that vegan magazine VegNews runs stock photos of dishes that aren't vegan at all. They even photoshopped rib bones out of a photo to make it look more vegan! It seems that lots of photos from the magazine can be found on stock photography website iStock with meaty and/or dairy-laden descriptions, and yet are run next to vegan recipes in the magazine.
And VegNews admits to it! Responding to Quarrygirl's post, they ran a letter on their website that reads:
"Yes, from time to time, after exhausting all options, we have resorted to using stock photography that may or may not be vegan. 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. We would love nothing more than to use only vegan photography shot by vegan photographers, and we hope to be there soon."
The story was broken by vegan blogger Quarrygirl, who now thinks "VegNews has serious editorial integrity issues, and cannot be trusted." She is also sending back the award VegNews gave her for being the Scandal Breaker of the Year in 2009. Well, they seem to have gotten that right.
· RANT: VegNews is Putting the MEAT Into Vegan Issues [quarrygirl]
· A Letter from VegNews [VegNews]
· All Vegan Coverage on Eater [-E-]