Holy Seitan! There’s been some serious muckraking going on in the ultra-ethical land of veganism. The vegan blog Quarrygirl uncovered doctored photos from VegNews, a San Francisco-based vegetarian magazine.
To illustrate its recipe for vegan spare ribs, the magazine apparently used stock photography of the real meat kind of spare rib, then scrubbed out the bones to make it look faux.
Quarrygirl posted numerous examples of the fraud, deciding that “VegNews has serious editorial integrity issues, and cannot be trusted.”
On Thursday, VegNews published a formal response, acknowledging the real meat in the photo, but explaining their reasoning as financial:
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.