The nation’s leading vegetarian news and lifestyle magazine has admitted it “screwed up” by attempting to pass off meaty recipe photos as meatless in the pages of its magazine and online.
VegNews issued a mea culpa last week after a blogger outed the publication for using images of chicken and hamburgers from a royalty-free image service to illustrate recipes such as “veganized” Brunswick stew and “Magical Meatball Burgers.” The VegNews team defended its actions, attributing them to a lack of images of vegetarian dishes and the high costs associated with image-gathering, especially for an independent publication like VegNews.
This week, the magazine went a step further, vowing to never again let images of cooked animals carcasses grace its pages and promising to host a photo bank of vegan stock images.
News of VegWeb’s transgression sparked heated debate as to whether their actions could ever been seen as justifiable. The post on quarrygirl.com compared images from iStockphoto and VegNews.com to illustrate the allegations; in perhaps the most egregious example, the post compared pictures of "Vegan Spare Ribs" and "Barbecue Ribs Dinner," pointing out where the bones were apparently edited out of the image.
Some came to VegNews’ defense while others, like the author of quarrygirl.com, said the VegNews’ “outright lack of respect… toward animals and vegans undermines everything we stand for.”
Others in the Twitterverse said the controversy exposed the need for a vegan stock image service – a need that VegNews has indicated a willingness to fill.
“VegNews will build and host a vegan photo bank to assure the availability of vegan stock images. Look for details in the coming days.”
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