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04/14/2011

VegNews DRAMA  »

By now, you have most likely heard about the VegNews drama that unfolded today. If you haven’t: Basically, VegNews had been using stock images of non-vegan dishes and doctoring them to look vegan. People have been asking why we haven’t commented. Well, it’s a bit complicated because Laura is a columnist for VegNews so she can’t comment on it. The other problem is that while I, Megan Rascal, am free to comment, I kind of don’t care. I know! I’m the worst!

Part of it is that I don’t get VegNews because I don’t get any magazines because I hate reading. I think maybe I’d feel differently if I had been reading it for a while but I’m not sure because aren’t all magazine photos doctored? Like EVERY SINGLE ONE? To make women look inhumanly skinny or elongated or whatever? And I guess the issue really was money, so what could they have done instead? That’s not rhetorical, I want to know what you think because maybe we can suggest it to them and they will find a better, more vegan way!

Here is the response they released today:

April 14, 2011

Dear VegNews Readers:

The entire VegNews family is deeply saddened with the dialogue that has transpired over the last 12 hours. As an ethical vegan magazine, owned-and-operated by vegans since its inception, VegNews is a labor of love, totally motivated by our dedication to ending animal suffering. Please understand the following:

VegNews is a privately owned, independent publication with no funding or investors. Publishing a magazine is extremely costly—with exorbitant costs for printing, postage, paper, and production. In fact, the majority of independent magazines fold within three years. Eleven years ago, we recognized the power of the media in spreading a compassionate message that vitally needed to be heard, and committed to producing a vegan magazine that could compete with mainstream publications.

—Eleven years later, we are proud to say that VegNews has won numerous major magazine awards, sits on the newsstand next to titles such as O, the Oprah Magazine and Martha Stewart Living, and is fulfilling its mission of packaging veganism in an appealing and accessible way so that we can reach as many people as possible. Through our family of properties, we now reach more than 1 million readers each month.

—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.

At VegNews, we are working hard to change the world for the better, and do whatever we can within our means to make that happen. We deeply appreciate your years of readership and support, and look forward to working together to create a more compassionate future.

With gratitude,
The VegNews Team

I don’t think it’s the greatest response ever but it’s pretty good. I’m not sure what else they could say. They fucked up but it’s obviously purely a money problem. I don’t know, what do you guys think?! It’s just like people won’t read a magazine without pretty pictures but there aren’t any stock vegan photos and they can’t use like 72dpi Creative Commons pictures. And I heard something like they deleted people’s comments about the pictures being doctored? That’s lame. I guess it was some panicked response? I still kind of don’t give a fuck but maybe I should? Let’s discuss. It’ll be like group therapy!

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