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Friday, April 15, 2011

vegnews mistake

Wow, pretty funny stuff. Well, maybe more to it than just amusement.  Over the years, vegnews has been posting stock photos in their magazine. This is not much of a surprise since most magazines do this to cut costs.  However they are using stock photos of dishes with meat, photoshopping them and then claiming they are of the recipes accompanying the photo. Absurd. Truly stupifying and bewildering.
Now of course they claim they cannot afford to hire photographers for all their photos. Understood in many situations. However, there is a "vegan community" out there. That community includes MANY talented, young chefs and foodworkers and many of them have cameras and some of them even have hobbies of food photography. Obviously Cori comes to mind as she has been documenting her food prep work with me and at Encuentro rather nicely,
There are easily to be found, a dozen or so food photographers of her ability and responsibility who would gladly work for the same rate as the stock photos. A handful of these people, such as Cori are even in the same town as Vegnews and know each other personally.
So instead of building more community and spreading some work and small fees among young vegan food artists, vegnews took the easy way out, got photos from the stock sources, photoshopped out the bones and claimed it was a vegan dish. This shows a total lack of concern of the cuisine being portrayed.
Now pedagogically, this is also problematic. As a cooking teacher and publisher of recipes, i believe photos accompanying recipes should be there to help the "student".  How is a novice to cooking going to learn from a photo that is totally unrealistic, not even portraying the dish it supposedly is. Why would they post a photo of a flesh burger dripping with mozzerealla and claim it is a bean burger with some fake cheese on it?
And why promote vegan cuisine using photos of dead animals? Vegan cuisine can and should be gorgeous and does not need photoshopped meat to make it look palatable. If they are so adamant about saving animals (which is their prime reason to be, it seems) , which i believe they are, why would they want to show a dead animal part in their magazine? That seems to belittle themselves and their reason of being, oddly.

Of course, i understand they cannot take photos yourself of every dish they portray. However, they can simply not use a photo rather than a blatant lie about portraying their beloved corporate fake meat with a photo of actual real flesh on a plate.

Then they try to excuse their actions by pointing out they are sold on magazine stands on a rack next to oprah and martha stewart. Congatulations on the success they are getting with distribution and being on newsstands with others with people they admire!
 However, that has what to do with using photos of dead animal parts in their vegan magazine?

I know the VegNews people personally and think they have good intentions. But this absurd publishing choice that they were busted for was rather absurd to start with. But their "apology"reminded me of listening to Tepco and BP cover themselves rather than come out with something with more honesty and integrity. They could do better.

sheesh, Fukushima is still melting down, the country is now actively at war on 4 fronts, as if this vegnews "scandal" really matters


  1. I f you know the VegNews staff personally, why didn't you send them an email or call them instead of bashing them in your blog?

  2. hard to take anonymous posts, seriously.

    To vegnews credit, they say they will no longer make this absurd mistake. Good for them to admit they messed up for years and will now change their policies about photos and will use custom made ones. But why did they hide this fact and then pretend it was no big deal till they realized a lot of people were not pleased with their actions!

    What can i say, i have no respect for liars!