April 19, 2011 Vegetarian Promoters Use real meat photos to fool readers
According to VegNews, the “premier magazine to focus on a vegetarian lifestyle” has been using real meat photos to accompany its recipes, as vegan blogger QuarryGirl (blog tagline: “Meat is Murder”) discovered and documented. QuarryGirl has posted several examples of stock photography of meat dishes in which VegNews has used as an image of a vegan dish. So a greasey burger is the look that a vege-burger is going for to appeal to consumers?
The “Vegan Spare Ribs” recipe used a photo of actual meat ribs, with the bones photoshopped out, and a picture for Seitan Stew was actually an iStockphoto titled “Chicken Breast Soup.” Other examples include hot dogs with actual meat and macaroni and cheese with actual cheese. One commenter and former VegNews intern said that everyone on the VegNews staff is fully aware of the “meat and dairy photo policy.” A former copy editor echoed the intern’s sentiments.
The VegNews Facebook page has a slew of disappointed commenters as well, some of which are claiming that their comments are getting deleted. Green gossip blog Ecorazzi reports that VegNews has yet to comment on its photo policy. Moral of the story: Magical Meatball Burgers are in fact not the same thing as your everyday (or, non-magical) burger.
UPDATE: VegNews posted a detailed letter on its website addressing the photo controversy and admitting to using stock photos. The letter states that “there are very few specifically vegan images offered by stock companies” and as a result of financial constraints, VegNews will sometimes use a non-vegan image.