Vegan magazine in a stew over meaty stock photos
Vegan blog quarrygirl.com accused VegNews.com of using photos of meat from iStockphoto to depict vegan dishes.
April 15th, 2011
10:19 PM ET

Vegan magazine in a stew over meaty stock photos

Many salivate over the mere image of a juicy hamburger or a glistening rack of ribs, but vegetarians aren't usually among them.

But apparently, that's what the readers of VegNews, the nation's leading vegan magazine, have been doing for years without their knowledge.

With the help of an anonymous reader tip, the author of the vegan blog, quarrygirl.com, accused VegNews of using food images of meat in its magazine and website and passing them off as meatless. The allegation prompted the San Francisco-based publication to confess that it had, "from time to time," used stock images that turned out not to be totally animal-free.

"The pictures we've been drooling over for years are actually of MEAT!" she charged.

To support the allegation, the irate post compared pictures of recipes on VegNews.com with photographs from royalty-free image service, iStockphoto. One example shows an image of a "veganized" Brunswick stew recipe from VegNews.com and an identical image from iStockphoto titled "chicken breast-soup-stew-pepper."

"Get your barf bags ready!" quarrygirl.com editorialized.

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.

"Veg News has written tens (possibly hundreds) of articles extolling the virtues of a vegan lifestyle, while purchasing rock-bottom priced stock photos of MEAT, EGGS, DAIRY and other completely non-vegan things," the post said.

In response, the magazine admitted that "Yes, from time to time, after exhausting all options, we have resorted to using stock photography that may or may not be vegan," in a plaintive letter addressing the controversy.

The VegNews team pointed out in its defense that the magazine has been privately owned and independently funded for 12 years, no small feat in the expensive world of publishing.

"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," the VegNews team said.

"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."

The controversy set off intense debate as to whether VegNews' actions can ever be justified, with many prominent voices in the vegan world vowing to cancel their subscriptions to the magazine and ban the site.

But others came to VegNews' defense.

"As a privately owned publication with no outside funding, VegNews has done the near impossible by lasting 11 years and securing prime real estate in bookstores across the country. Currently, the popular magazine reaches over 1 million readers each month, including herbivores and omnivores alike," wrote Michael Parrish DuDell, senior editor of Ecorazzi.com, a self-described  "green gossip blog."

"While some online critics have suggested VegNews source user submitted photos, anybody who’s ever worked in publishing knows this suggestion isn't logistically possible. With time-sensitive deadlines, detailed specs, and other provisions to consider, sourcing photos would be more trouble than it's worth. Ideally, VegNews would have an in-house photographer, but being an independently owned company on a conservative budget prohibits that option. These are only some of the challenges the outspoken naysayers don't seem to be considering."

Another prominent vegan blogger said the end justifies the means and urged readers to continue supporting VegNews.

"All that really matters is that the reader associates the image with vegan food in a positive way, ultimately leading them to support vegan things," wrote Kayla, the blogger behind Babe in Soyland.

"Hurting VegNews over this would be sad and would mean the loss of an important resource and a way for vegans to reach out to their own kind as well as people who are NOT vegan but interested in veganism...It would be an unfortunate take-down of one of the vegan community’s greatest accomplishments by their own people and I just don’t think that’s what being vegan should be about."

But in this wired world, where action and reaction is instant, the kerfuffle has already sparked discussion of solutions.

"A good day to draw attention to vegan food photographers: @susanffvk @tofu666 @bittersweet_ @ohsheglows and I'm ok, too," tweeted Isa Chandra, a best-selling vegan cookbook author.

"Let's take a positive spin on the @VegNews photo controversy: create a vegan stock site! I would submit in a heartbeat. Problem-solved?" tweeted artsparrow.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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Filed under: Food
soundoff (708 Responses)
  1. Conrad Shull

    Only in a fat (real or metaphorically – whichever applies), rich, self-centered, self-indulgent society could this possibly be worth the time it took to type the article or be concerned about the issue.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CMAC

    First of all, if you don't want to eat meat to save animals, etc, I think that's great and this comment is not for you.
    Nutrionally however, I don't think enough quality research backs up the claim that it's healthier. Key words being "enough" and "quality".

    And soy? Not so great for you either. Soy, wheat, corn, milk and some other grains contain sticky gluten-type molecules that can stick to your gut, create inflammation, and hinder absorption of nutrients.

    And we all know refined sugar is bad for us – worse than meat – but I don't know anyone who refuses to eat anything with refined sugar with such vehemence.

    You can find studies that say almost any food stuff is bad for you. Moderation and common sense people.

    P.S. that fake soup looks good.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    I've heard magazines use EDITED photos of WOMEN! OH NO, does this mean every man who felt his blood flow a little faster by looking at a photo is actually gay? No, of course not. The women who felt the need to "expose" the pictures is obviously a nobody who just craves attention.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chelsea

    A comment up there by Paul made me laugh very hard.

    He starts out complaining about how Vegans and Omnivores argue, comparing them to politicians, then goes on to passive agressively take several jabs at Omnivores. Hint man, you can't make a "Lets just all get along!" post if you're gonna rag on the other side during it.

    My only problem with Vegans are the ones who call me a murderer for eating a cheeseburger. I'm very live and let live, and while I have my own opinion on the vegan lifestyle, IE my reasoning why I'm not a vegan myself, I won't share it or try to push it upon anyone until they get in my face about being a "Murderer" for doing what my teeth and digestive tract were designed to do.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      "your teeth and your digestive tract" ??
      Have you compared your teeth to that of a non human meat eater recently? Completely different, unless you look like some kind of werewolf.
      Your digestive tract is also radically different (longer), which is why we (you) have such a problem with rotting meat in [y]our guts. Do your research.

      April 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Wow Mike why don't you go back to the ALF and inhaleing your own farts too halt methane pollution you freak, We (humans) are omnivores, maybe you aught to do some of your own research, last I check omnivores ate both plants and ANIMALS. Just the other day I ate a deliceous kitten nom nom nom.

      April 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      And unless you don't do all sorts of things that are completely unnatural ie drive a car, poop sitting on a toilet, take hot showers, than the argument that 'it's what we're meant to do' is ignorant anyway.

      April 16, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • cityguy

      Its Vegan Surprise!

      The Surprise is, that there is meat in there...

      April 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      Yes, Mike, I have compared my teeth to my dog's. We both have incisors in front and then canine teeth (although, his are bigger) and then molars in back. And that new age acai enema BS they show you of the green seaweed looking crap that comes out of your intestines is just that, BS, to sell a product. Everything in your intestines gets pushed out by what follows it. That includes bubble gum, peanut butter and meat (cooked or raw). You would be very sick if there were meat eternally festering in your colon.

      April 16, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • S Kyle

      I had sushi tonight from a fish that was brought to the table with its mouth still gasping for air. I imagine the spinal cord had been severed so it didn't thrash about and spill our beer, so I guess it didn't feel the chef slicing off filets. But man, it was delicious. I wish someone could figure out a way to do this with lamb chops. What would taste sweeter than a fresh, extra-rare chop from a baby sheep still bleating on the table? Sheesh, I'm getting hungry again.

      April 16, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      @Mike: The funniest thing about your silly "meat stays in your digestive system forever!" argument is that, were it true (which it isn't...perhaps you should do your own research), the human body doesn't do anything that doesn't benefit it. If it were holding on to meat products longer than vegetation, that would tell us that meat has vast amounts of something the body needs and therefore it holds on to it for a longer period to extract as much of that "something" that it can. On the flip side of that coin, if vegetation were processed faster than meat, it would tell us that vegetation has little to nothing of value and must be purged from the system as fast as possible to make room for things that will benefit the body (much in the same way diarrhea or vomit are quick ways to expunge other undesirable materials from the body).

      I always love it when the other side proves themselves wrong :)

      April 17, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      @Mike. Except that Mike is right. He didn't say that rotting meat stays in our intestines forever. Chelsea is the one who brought up "our teeth and digestive tract" in defense of an animal product based diet. Our teeth and digestive tracts DO NOT testify to the normality of the meat-centered type of diet that most Americans eat on a regular basis. An animal that eats a diet primarily composed of meat has a VERY short digestive tract. It's gut has straight, smooth sides.The meat travels through very quickly. The nutrients are absorbed quickly. The mass is defecated quickly. (Before it starts to rot.) Our digestive tract is over 20 feet long and narrows every few inches, in order to slow the progress and digestion of roughage. Fiber. Vegetable matter. Cellulose. We have canine teeth, yes. Canine teeth that are completely different from carnivores. Much smaller. Much flatter. Much duller. (Look at the canine teeth of any dog or cat. They are very different from ours.) We are omnivores, and YES, we can eat a large variety of foods, including small, occasional portions of meat. Most Americans eat WAY,WAY,WAY too much meat. Our bodies are not meant to eat huge portions of meat, nor to eat meat every single time we sit down to eat. (Which a majority of us do.) It is extremely common, in America, that meat is eaten at every single meal, and that meat is by far the biggest portion of the meal. Sending huge amounts of meat through our very, very long digestive tract means that the meat DOES start to putrefy, before it exits. Mike didn't claim that rotting meat stays in our intestines forever. But, he is absolutely correct that our digestive tract is not intended to process meat as it's PRIMARY source of nutrition. Our long intestines hold on to putrefying meat for much too long. It's not healthy. It causes a cascade of health problems. I agree that some vegetarians and vegans can get a little too preachy and fundamentalist in their TOTAL abstinence from meat. (However, they have very good reason. Health is NOT the only problem with meat! There are huge ethical concerns. There is rampant abuse and cruelty towards animals on factory farms. Meat production is horrible for our environment, etc.) A PRIMARILY vegetarian diet, with occasion small portions of meat-one or two mouthfuls, not a 20oz. steak!!-small portions, a few times a month-occasional, small portions of LEAN meat, is probably a healthy way to eat. But, the colon cancer (cancer of ALL kinds), heart disease, diabetes and obesity from which millions of Westerners die, each year, is undeniable testament to the fact that a Western diet, a diet that is way too focused on animal products (dairy is bad, too), is killing us. We should be getting at least 85% of our calories from plant sources. (Probably more.) Vegetarians and vegans are healthier, because they eat much closer to that ideal. They have much lower incidence of ALL the diseases that regularly kills the populations of affluent countries. There are so many reasons why meat intake should be kept to a minimum, or eliminated all together. THAT is what our teeth and digestive tracts demonstrate. The prevalence of heart disease-cancer-diabetes related causes of death totally dominate health care costs in the Western world. Our human bodies LOUDLY testify to the fact that we should be eating FAR less meat. Much like the uncomfortable facts regarding smoking, years ago, these facts about our poor eating habits are quickly becoming undeniable.

      April 17, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
    • dd

      Blaming all the heart disease and cancer in western society on a diet that includes meat is seriously misguided. If you want to blame diet then start with all of the processed foods in the western diet. Then look at the stress levels in the western world. Then look at the amount of time westerners spend sitting on their duff staring at the idiot box......A study done 10 years ago showed that the lowest incidence of heart disease in the world was amongst the nomadic people in Mongolia. Although their summer diet had more variety with naturally growing plants, their winter diet consisted of yak meat, yak milk and yak fat. Guess no one told them their diet wasn't good for them.... oh yeah, they also did not consume soft drinks, msg, 'natural' flavors etc. nor did they look at the things people say to one another on CNN.

      April 17, 2011 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Ok, so. I am getting very confused about where everybody is getting their knowledge about the digestive system from. One specific point brought up by Mike and others: "meat is putrefying in your intestines." [paraphrased]. By the time any food reaches your stomach, it no longer looks anything like the meal you put into your mouth. It is mashed. By the time it reaches your small intestine, and certainly your large intestine, it is DEFINITELY not meat. It cannot "putrefy", it cannot "fester", it's just broken-up bits of organic matter soon to be absorbed for energy.

      April 17, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      I'm a proud member of PETA, People Eating Tasty Animals. Now where did I put those chicken wings?

      April 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • tanyakristine

      actually your teeth were not designed to eat meat. they CAN; they're just not designed for it...honestly, if everyone gave up one meal of meat a day, it would make a WORLD of difference in our environment and in the lives of factory farmed animals.

      April 18, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Chelsea,
      How can you claim to live a "live and let live" lifestyle when you consume the flesh of slaughtered animals? Clearly your "live and let live" lifestyle respects only certain kinds of life and certain kinds of animals (human). You also complain about vegans pushing their lifestyle on you, but tell me this, when was the last time a vegan forced you to eat something vegan, or stopped you from eating animals or animal products? Vegans may promote veganism, suggest or encourage that people not eat animals/animal products and even judge others who do, but they aren't pushing, forcing or making you or anyone else do anything. They have certain beliefs and opinions, but who doesn't, right? They are merely saying that if you care about animals and want to reduce the amount of suffering and violence in the world, go vegan. Not all that radical a message.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • RainE

      "...complain about vegans pushing their lifestyle on you, but tell me this, when was the last time a vegan forced you to eat something vegan, ..."

      I am responding mainly to this line. First i want to say that I do support a Vegan Diet and follow a vegetarian diet. I do not choose to label myself and feel there is no need. But I do have issue with something I keep seeing over and over concerning Vegans that is very disturbing to me. I see vegans forcing their diets all the time and many times at the cost of the animals they fight so hard to protect. Vegans who force their pets (cats, dogs, and recently a debate concerning a meat eating reptile etc) to live on a vegan diet. Animals that in nature are meat eaters. No matter the argument forcing your pets to live on a vegan diet is no less cruel than any of the other injustices and animals that you are so vocal about. Your cat or dog is not choosing a vegan diet unless they are offered a choice of foods and it choses only vegan. Otherwise it is animal cruelty and eating anything in front of it fighting to survive.

      April 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • neptonomist sentry

      How come I lift way more weight than those scrawny vegan guys? Hom come vegan guys always have some frigid woman telling them what to do? They seem like such wimps.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BDL

    I think it sounds like fraud and that subscribers should think of a class action lawsuit. It's not merely using stock or edited photos, but encouraging people to hunger over a food that they're actively opposed to hunger for. Sometimes psychological tricks, labeling it Vegan, just don't work. A reasonable person would expect customers to be upset at falsely advertising meat dishes as vegan, and that's enough for fraud.

    The magazine claims that it happens from "time to time," but the excuses they use make it sound like it is probably done with just about every issue. They say that it's extremely rare to find "non-stock" photos, but there's no indication that they've really looked. At twelve years with a million weekly subscribers, they could solve this problem by now. They could take in user images, reuse older images, shoot a dozen spreads in a day, and so on. In short, I think they're in trouble.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Naldo

      I I agree - really, is it that awful gosh-darn expensive to cook the meal and take a photo of it? They should have a food photographer on staff, as well as a cook that's testing these recipes. Being cheap like is like cutting the meat from the fat.

      April 16, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1389AD

      Let's face it – it's imposible to make vegan food appetizing.

      April 16, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt, Charlotte NC

      I have no strong opinion either way about vegans. People can and should eat what makes them feel good. I will weigh in on the photography in the magazine issue however. I would challenge any who are freaking out about the usage of stock photography that may include hidden meat products to cook something that they really enjoy, arrange it in an artful way and take some photos that they honestly believe are worthy of use in a magazine. I know that it sounds simple. But food photography is incredibly difficult, time consuming, and expensive. For a magazine to fill its pages every month entirely with in house pictures whose origin and every minute detail can be monitored is unrealistic.

      The fact that it took 11 years for anyone to realize that there was that potential, is a tribute to how hard the editors are trying to ensure that they present the right face to the topic. In my opinion as an outsider looking in, assuming this magazine is good and portrays vegans and veganism in a positive light, I think for people to be punishing them for this is a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      April 16, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • cjm71

      BDL – You are obviously not a lawyer. Part from the requirements of a class action suit, fraud requires an intentional misrepresentation of a material fact that another relies upon in making a decison, that there is actual reliance which causes harm. Viewing a picture, that one can not even tell is a picture of meat, can not in relaity be relied upon by the viewer for any purpose can not cause another harm. People often time make lawyers the butt of jokes and view them as "ambulance chasers," but it is people like you that cause the problem. To get som upset over a picture and think that people should sue is ridiculous and it is clients like YOU that are the problem.

      April 17, 2011 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Hillary

      Except that "vegan" and "vegetarian" are voluntary labels that aren't regulated by the FDA or USDA so what would they base this lawsuit on? It's not like labeling something organic or gluten-free which requires certification or testing respectively. Further, it's a picture, not something they were fed. Only in advertising and on product labels does it have to be the actual product. They're not trying to sell you a can of vega-mite soup so this lawsuit idea is as preposterous as throwing a fit over pictures. Goodness, get butthurt over PhotoShopped models, that does way more harm.

      April 17, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      You hit the nail on the head BDL. It's false advertising, plain and simple, regardless of their reasons. Come on, how hard or expensive is it to get one of the staff, a friend or a family member to take a picture of something they've cooked up or baked and stick it in the magazine? I also find it hard to believe that their "vegan" staff okayed it. I hope they fix their mistake.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jamie

    As a vegan, it's most important to me that no animals suffer or die in order to provide sustenance for me when other healthy alternatives are available. So while of course it would be preferable to see only photos of authentic veg dishes in VegNews magazine, it's significant that no animals were harmed in the borrowing and photo-shopping of their covers and story art. Maybe if they're given more support by vegetarians, they'll be able to afford a full-time professional photographer – or pro-veg photogs can volunteer their time.

    This is much less horrible than Natalie Portman abandoning the veganism she ardently embraced for moral reasons because she wants to have cupcakes while she's pregnant.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Someone should point Natalie Portman in the direction of http://misterniceguycupcakes.blogspot.com/

      April 16, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vegman

      Natalie Portman is the devil!

      April 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      So you care more about animals than the poor imigrants and children who are picking your vegitables?

      April 16, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brett

      Jamie, you should protest to all the wild cats in africa. Like the lions and tigers and cheetahs because they harm the animals they feed on worse than a bullet would do. A bullet is a quick death but strangulation is not. You really need to protest to the wild cats first and foremost, not to mention the sharks in the ocean also.

      April 16, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1389AD

      No, there will NEVER be "healthy alternatives to meat" or other animal-based foods. Human beings are omnivores and need meat and other animal-based foods as part of their diets. We can go for short periods of time without meat, but cannot live healthy lives on a long-term basis without it.

      It's time for some serious research to be done on the effect that lack of meat has on people's emotional states. There has to be some reason why vegans consistently treat their fellow human beings in such an ugly manner.

      April 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Dude, being pregnant makes you crave things like crazy. Give her a break.

      April 17, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Hilo, HI

      What a stupid thing to say! First of all, ever been pregnant? been through your woman's pregnancy? (maybe best you avoid either scenario) If she was raised on meat & dairy, then she slid back on an old habit. People are human. I doubt we'll see her carving into a whale steak any time soon.
      Your post feeds the stereo-type that vegans are petty and neurotic. I'm thinking this is meat industry propaganda.

      April 17, 2011 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Hilo, HI

      1389AD Meat Industry Shill? You are just plain wrong. (care to state any credible sources to back your claims?)
      Besides, what passes for meat today wouldn't have made it as Dog Food in the 1950's!
      Lot's of people are making the switch for those health reasons alone -that have more to do with the safety and quality of the food item itself than the social and moral issues associated with meat vs vegetarian.

      April 17, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
    • bill

      You're stretching it to stay in your comfort zone.

      If the pictures have meat in them, the harm is already done to the animals. I cannot understand your reasoning. What's the difference when the animal was killed for food, when the stock photo was shot or if they made their own dish and took the picture. Either way, an animal was used in the dish.

      April 17, 2011 at 6:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Sheep Dog

      @Jamie

      Do you grow all your own food? I would think that's the only way a Vegan could be sure that no animals were "harmed" in your meal. What about all the rabbits caught in the combines? What about the hogs that are hunted because they are such a HUGE PROBLEM for farmers. Or the permits to clear wild life out to keep them off your precious veggies?

      April 18, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Omnivore

      Natalie Portman may be the devil but she's not a quack vegan! You people are kooks! We humans are animals..much higher intelligence and an opposable thumb but were animals. Historically man has always been an omnivore, eating meat and vegetables. You vegans are doing the unnatural thing by eschewing animal products.

      The whole argument of not contributing to the harm of animals is just plain crazy. Every omnivore animal on this planet eats other animals. When is PETA going to start a crusade against great white sharks??? They are much more ruthless than us humans when they kill their food.

      April 18, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Unreal

    Another stupid whiny article about stupid whiny vegans. Thanks, CNN.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • EdumaKaty

      This really isn't this issue at all. You just felt like dissing Vegans. It's about Journalistic Integrity, something VegNews knows nothing about. They care more about profit than the very readers who pay their salaries. If this were any other issue, about any other topic, the end result would still be the same: you're an idiot.

      April 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      @ Eduma...Capatalism baby!!

      April 16, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Balto Paul

    They need more pictures of cats. I like cats. I just can't eat a whole one.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Septic5

    hahahaha!

    April 16, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. A

    I have no problem being termed a murder for eating meat. It shows you are ignorant and the more you misuse the term the weaker it becomes. The weakest and sickest people I have ever met are vegans. (grew up in norcal so I know)

    April 16, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. umm...

    who cares?

    April 16, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CoryJean

    India is surpassing China now as the country with the highest population in the world and yet has been a vegetarian country since the beginning of times. How in the heck can that be, judging by the previous comments claiming how unhealthy vegans and vegetarians are?! Half of the population is still vegetarian, even though the Western culture is vehemently trying to change that. Hello McDonalds! Obviously, they must be healthy as one of the oldest countries in the world and with such a vast population too. Think of Ghandi, a life-long vegetarian who walked gently on this earth and respected the life all all beings. India is a country, and always has been, based on non-violence, Ahimsa. Look at our country, obese and dying of meat & dairy related problems, gun hungry and violent. We could learn a lot by Indian culture if we would open ourselves up to expanding our minds, and not our waist lines. I have been a healthy, ethical and beautiful vegan for 15 years now and am saddened that 10 billion animals die every year in America only for the sake of selfish momentary sensation on humans' tongues. I will continue to support VegNews and proudly live a cruelty-free life on all counts. And yes, I have been to India several times, so I have witnessed the culture for myself.

    April 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      sure coryjean because you've visited a handful of times you are and indisputable expert in all things East Indian. Lols. They eat meat you tart, the vegis they eat are because that's what was available too them they didn't decide pre-industrialization that there was something fundamentally wrong with eating meat. Meat was expensive and hard to get, look at the history of any country, seriously Ireland practically lived on potatos for most of their early existence. It's not like they could walk to the grocery store and buy sausage patties to eat for breakfast with their starbucks lol. India eats the dishes they eat not because of some crazy pro vegan mass movement but because the dishes they have are traditional dishes too their culture.

      April 16, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • CoryJean

      Steve,

      Indians are vegetarians because of their religion, HINDUISM! Educate and open your mind instead of attacking so you do not sound so ridiculous. Hindu's hold all life sacred and THAT is why they don't eat meat. The majority of the population are vegetarians because of their religion. Poverty plays a role, of course, in every country, including India. Try and learn instead of judging a country you know nothing about.

      April 16, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stalemonkey

      You are referring to the religion of Jainism not Hinduism. Jainism is also an Indian religion, though a minority one.

      April 16, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • CoryJean

      I am aware of both religions and have the up-most respect for both and they are similar in their beliefs about animals.

      April 16, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vignesh

      Nice, way to make generalizations. I'm Indian. Most Indians eat meat. The Indians who eat meat are part of a middle class group known as "brahmins" (sort of like priests), and a lot of Brahmins have immigrated to America. Which is probably why you think all Indians are vegetarian which is far from the case, Indians eat a lot of chicken, the Indians who don't eat meat usually do it for religious reasons.

      April 17, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Vignesh

      errr I mean don't eat meat for the Brahmins.

      April 17, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Know

      The majority of India's population that lives above its poverty level eats meat. They keep chickens and goats in tiny cages because they stay fresher that way than if they were in a refrigerator.

      April 17, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
    • CoryJean

      From Wikkipedia:

      Hindus advocate the practice of ahiṃsā (non-violence) and respect for all life because divinity is believed to permeate all beings, including plants and non-human animals.[145] The term ahiṃsā appears in the Upanishads,[146] the epic Mahabharata[147] and Ahiṃsā is the first of the five Yamas (vows of self-restraint) in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.[148]

      In accordance with ahiṃsā, many Hindus embrace vegetarianism to respect higher forms of life. Estimates of the number of lacto vegetarians in India (includes adherents of all religions) vary between 20% and 42%.

      Re-read what I wrote before, I never said all of India was vegetarian. Strict Hindus do not eat meat and never have.

      April 17, 2011 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Omnivore

      Coryjean,
      If that's the case then Hindus should just stop eating. According to wikipedia (which is always correct because it's on the webernet) eating a plant is just as bad as eating an animal. So is it eat nothing? Maybe a coin toss...heads chicken, tails asparagus and if by chance it lands on its side, then fast til you die. LOL

      April 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • andy

      You come off as some sort of high and mighty guru on Indian culture, and yet you're quoting wikipedia? Give me a break.

      April 18, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ciscoheat

    I am not a vegan but am a vegetarian. I don’t believe in all the same beliefs vegans have but fully respect them. Much like many try to buy American made or only shop at locally owned stores to support small businesses or won't cross a union picket line. Being a vegetarian or vegan has similar tendencies. With that said, yes, a picture is just a picture but it supports something vegans are against. Its almost like getting a leather bound photo album from VegNews. By supporting those pictures on istock, they don’t just give one extra credit to a photo taken of meat, but they undercut another publisher who is trying to play by the rules. The rules of being a vegan meaning no animals are harmed. So although I may not agree with all aspects of being a Vegan, I respect your beliefs and think that VegNews did wrong. For those that can’t understand, imagine a news article talking about Heros of the Iraq war but instead of showing US soldiers, they actually show pictures of the terrorists dressed in our military colors. Once again, you may not agree with the lifestyle, but understand why they are upset.

    April 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      You just compared terrorists to pictures of dishes containing meat ingredients. I see the point you are trying to make but that's possibly the dumbest analogy ever... get some perspective.

      April 17, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. James Hawk III

    A picture of meat isn't meat. If these folks are so sensitive they can't even look at a picture...well, that's a little off-center of the average response. I don't like yogurt, but I can look at a picture of it without getting all torn up emotionally.

    April 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Karen v

    Nick, you are a genius.

    "For debate sake, why don't you eat an entire pumpkin or squash whole and without cutting it up or cooking it."

    April 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
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