• vegnews apologizes, promises to change their ways!

    April 18th, 2011quarrygirlrants, vegan events

    the moment we’ve been waiting for has arrived. after an unapologetic response to last week’s uproar, vegnews has finally changed their ways and offered an official apology…

    we are so happy to report that they have vowed to stop using photos of real meat and dairy products on their website and in their magazine to depict “vegan” dishes…and they even claim to be building their own vegan stock photo site. yippee! this is huge, and i am THRILLED. read the full letter here.

    i’m not gonna lie. the decade of being deceived by vegnews, their attempt at a cover up (deleting comments, sending harassing emails), and their initial response to this whole situation left an awful taste in my mouth...but i am sooooooo glad that they’ve seen the error of their ways, and i’m hopeful that some good comes of this. there is trust to rebuild and a reputation to regain, but if vegnews can pull it off, we’ll all benefit. here’s to hoping they create an amazing website and magazine that’s full of gorgeous animal-free photos. i know it can be done!

    everyone deserves a second chance. i hope vegnews makes the most of it.

    PS: hey vegnews! if you are reading this, how about giving us the scandal breakers of the year award again? 2011? c’mon! let’s do this!


75 responses to “vegnews apologizes, promises to change their ways!” RSS icon

  • Haha, whether or not you get an official award I think you got the scandal of the year again, by my vote.

  • So glad to see this apology, and I’m also hopeful that they can create an even better magazine with all vegan photos!

  • Wonderful! I’m back in VegNews!

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    That’s terrific!!
    Really appreciate all the stuff you went through to make this known QG. Thanks again

  • You’re so cheeky. If they don’t send you one, I’ll papier maché you one using only pages from VegNews’ new, 100% vegan editions!

  • Freedom for ALL!

    😀 !!!

  • those votes are rigged anyways! that’s my opinion for the next vegnews scandal

  • Wonderful news! I’m now keeping my subscription and looking forward to a truly meat-free publication.

  • what’s next QG ? You will ask back for the Vegnews awards that you did send them back ?
    So all in all, it seems you have acted hotheaded. I mean, VG fucked up big time, and it took them some days of bullying wishtle blowers, of denial and lame excuses, when finally they realised the storm wouldn’t blow over,to finally give an apology.

    OR you would have had to be much milder from the beginning and give VG some credit, OR you should stick to your guns and stay outraged that you drooled over meatphoto’s because VN mislead you.

  • amazing, just a couple of days QG did send her VN award back and started a veg riot.

    Now cheeky QG is already bending over and frenhg kissing asking for a new VG awards.
    Simply disapointing. At least you could have a more independent attitude and wait how these promises are coming through.

  • ok, everyone (well, I wouldn’t even go that far, but most people) deserves a second chance, but not a third one. Chance 1 is the opportunity they had not to do it in the first place. Chance 2 is what they do after the comments/e-mails bringing it to their attention. What they do after cancellations roll in and they start to really feel it? EVERYONE’S sorry after they’re busted and can’t cover it up any more. QG (and most of the earlier posters I see), you’re a better person than I am (or at least much more forgiving).
    My vote? Screw these asswads. Can I get at least ONE Hallelujah!?

  • I am curious how VegNews can go from finding it impossible to not have photos of meat to one of a completely vegan photo situation. Like, overnight.

  • My above comment is so horribly worded. I apologise but I think the meaning is clear.

  • you so right, it’s not the first time.
    just last year, in a very unprofesional piece of journalism (an article based on biased assumption and googled internet information) VG TRASHED very unfairly Ching Hai the founder of the Loving Huts.

  • You totally deserve that award again! Thanks for keeping us all up to date. : )

  • yah, to think that just two days agoaccording to VN this was impossible..

  • I can only imagine how many cancellations and complaints from advertisers VegNews got that they did such a complete turnaround. They must have been like Holy Shit, we’re gonna be out of business soon if we don’t come crawling back with our tails between our knees.

    It’s good that they are reforming there ways, for the subscribers who remain, but it’s also clear that these kind of people can’t ever be trusted again.

  • Captain Obvious

    Seriously? I think we all just need to lighten up about this.

  • Great job on this, QG! I’m all for change, growth and forgiveness. Happy to witness the result of your activism!

  • Totally agreed! Seriously ~ that would be HILARIOUS if you got their award for this year.

    This is truly a good turn of events. I hope VegNews sees more success and makes some magic as a result of this!!

  • Though I would NEVER dream of subscribing to VegNews, I’m glad they finally decided to apologize and use all-vegan photos. Way to go, QG!!!!

  • For what it’s worth, I won’t be reading VegNews anymore. The apology seems superficial to me.

    Many, many thanks to Quarry Girl for the effort. It is much appreciated.

  • Good for them…

  • I hate to say it but I would have to agree. Doesn’t seem very genuine at all. QG you know I’m the first one to jump on the love, peace, and happiness bus but the whole situation has left a bad taste in my mouth (pardon the pun). I hope they continue to show a SINCERE want to gain back our trust and make changes in their magazine.

  • i totally understand why a lot of people are still upset. i won’t be rushing to renew my vegnews subscription yet, either. let’s just be happy they apologized and hope that something good comes of it!!

  • QG — you started this dust-up in a insincere and disgusting manner — reminds me of Republican tactics. Why didn’t you approach VN directly with the facts as you found them?

    WHERE IS YOUR APOLOGY for your behaviour?

  • I just have to say I think this whole thing is ridiculous. Not that Vegnews published meat photos but that everyone is making such a big deal about it. Vegnews is a magazine that is trying to reach the mainstream and doing a fine job of it, all this is doing is discrediting them, I’m sure that’s why they deleted the comments on their site. We all know that magazines are a dying breed these days, so not having money is probably the reason they did this to save money and time. It is just a picture after all. I just wish that all this time and energy spent by everyone over this “controversy” was spent on volunteering at a shelter or anything else that would actually help out the animals. You can go ahead and delete this now.

  • Wow… What a lackluster apology. I mean, shouldn’t VegNews have been committed to veganism in the first place?!?! I wanted to throw up at the thought that I had been drooling over meat. The fact that all of the recipes I was excited to make and looked so incredible were meat is completely disgusting and I think their apology was very half assed. What about the threatening emails to people who’ve spent their hard earned money supporting that magazine over the years? Deleting comments to try to hide what was really happening? Sounds like blatant disregard for their readers and veganism as a whole. And I can’t take the apology as sincere if they can’t address the deceit, lies, and attempts to cover things up after being exposed.

    Still disgusted and refuse to support them.

  • I’m really sick of people blaming QuarryGirl for VegNews’ screw up.

    VegNews was bound to get found out sooner or later. What if it had been Anthony Bourdain who found this out? VegNews was in the wrong, they lied, deleted comments, and now came around to do the right thing. If you think it’s a waste of time, why are YOU criticizing QuarryGirl on her blog instead of riding around with Sea Shepherd or whatever nobler, vegan-er business you think we all should be doing?

    And newsflash — People can multitask. Last night I commented on this issue, took one of my two vegan rescued dogs to the vet, made vegan nutella, wrote an angry letter about the prospect park geese, AND did followup for the surrender prevention program I work for to keep animals out of the ACC. I’m sick of all the hand-wringing about movement unity that is really just fear of making the “cool kids” mad or some bullshit. I guess I better stop telling construction workers to shove it when they catcall, cause I’m making all feminists look like humorless bitches and ruining feminism too!

    RANT OVER and I love you, Quarrygirl. Also people it is obvious she’s joking about another scandal aware.

  • oops I meant “scandal award”

  • LMAO!!

  • Yes, I really doubt that the apology was SINCERE. I think they did it only because of the intense and widespread criticism they received. I just hope they will at least REALLY use only vegan photos in the future.

  • thanks, i’m glad someone got the award joke! sheesh!

  • Really? Like approaching them directly would have done anything? Thanks QG — just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean we have to put up with BS.

  • People! Please stop SHOOTING THE MESSENGER. QG did not LIE, DE$CEIVE, and try to Cover It Up.QG just informed us of what is going on. VN made their bed now let them lie in it. It’s called Cause and Effect or Karma! Moving forward i hope the changes they implemented are sincere.

  • I agree. I just can’t figure out what kind of people they are. The apology reads more like “we’re writing this so we’ll still have jobs” instead of “we really f-d up!!”

    I know there are bigger things for vegans to worry about, but this really stings.

  • Lol. LOVE this comment! 🙂

  • Have they really “seen the error of their ways”? It seems to me that they responded to pressure.

  • I have experience with taking on an organization and exposing facts that fans of the organization did not like.

    I discovered what is meant by “shooting the messenger”.

    Rather than face that there is a problem with their “island of positivity” good people will deal with the distress of the controversy by shouting down people exposing it instead of working toward fixing the problem.

    I feel sorry for those people if they ever come to realize what that looks like for their integrity.

    I also have respect for Quarry Girl, Erik Marcus and others who stood up to this kind of blow back while others who didn’t want to accept the situation sang “Hey You! Get Off Of My Cloud”.

    I know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of public hostility.

    They have my kudos. The staff at VegNews, both those responsible and those who are not have my compassion.

    Like I said, I know what it feels like.

    Unfortunately, fighting to correct big public problems rarely coalesces with large outpourings of public love. People who bring things up get blow back. That is life on Planet Earth for anyone trying to fix significant problems.

  • They were probably told to issue this apology by their bankers or advertisers or something. Maybe the advertisers were afraid of a boycott. People don’t just do a 180 like this on their feelings. They’re still the same indignant pricks there, they’re just doing what they feel they have to do to survive.

    Let’s not forget, as recently as Friday they were defiant, and they’re excuse for promoting meat on the cover of their vegan magazine was money. So by their own admission, money is more important than their cause. Which means this new “apology” is all about money, too. (And sure, they’re a for-profit business, and this is America, so of course they’re about money first, but then don’t go hiding behind your cause when criticized.)

    If people want to support them because they think the magazine would not be replaced by a better vegan magazine if it folded, or because it would take too long for a better vegan mag to get up to speed if VegNews went away, or because they think on balance it’s doing more good than bad, then fine, go ahead, but don’t forget what kind of people everyone now knows is running VegNews: lowlifes.

    My memory is that some years back there was something that happened in Russia that supposedly started off as a good cause but wound up being run by ruthless tyrants who completely lost sight of their original mission and breached no dissent. Check wikipedia on that.

  • Big victory! Thousands of animals spared from suffering! Veganism has truly advanced!

  • LOL so funny with p.s scandal breakers of the year award


  • Now that’s an apology letter! Too bad this had to get so huge first. Not the best damage control. I think you should totally get the award!

  • Nice work on breaking this story – VegNews will certainly feel the effects of publishing these images on their website.

  • Apology or not, it’s a pretty unforgivable act. “Resorting” to using stock images of meat? Kind of like “resorting” to eating it if nothing else is available. Being vegan means work, whether it’s taking your own damn pictures for your magazine, or finding things to eat in an often unvegan world. They set a horrible example. SHAME SHAME SHAME!

    QG, stickin’ it to the man, good work. ;]

  • I am no longer a supporter of VegNews because of their choice to apologize and promise to change their ways.

    The only avenue they have to “change their ways” and continue to produce a high-quality publication is to do their own photography in-house, which is far more expensive than buying stock photography.

    How will they recoup this cost? They’ll pass it onto us, of course. Inevitably, the cost of VegNews will have to go up. This will cause lower circulation and a reduction of the influence that VegNews has as a way to promote vegan and vegetarian living.

    We allowed the good to be the enemy of the perfect and VegNews fell right into that trap. I will not support any publication that tries to hang itself in an effort to chase some unreachable perfection.

  • I was happy to see them (finally) apologize yesterday but I still feel that if their first half-assed “apology” had placated everyone then this second (actual?) apology would never have happened and there would never have been any policy changes, which makes me feel a lot less affection for VegNews than I had a month ago. *shrug* So, we’ll see what happens…

  • Nonsense! Their writers work for free, and it has been demonstrated over and over and OVER on the internet that there are

    existing vegan stock photos
    skilled vegan photographers willing to work for free/ cost

    VN was just arrogant and LAZY. Perfect the enemy of the good, my vegan ass! And now they WILL have vegan pictures and a vegan stock photography got started because of this brouhaha.

    I guess I was making the perfect the enemy of the good when I stopped eating cheese, and became a scary-wary VEGAN (pronounced VAYYYGUN) instead of a non-threatening cuddly vegetarian ordering my Papa John’s cow-pus pizza.

  • I started to question their judgment when they published an article featuring Steve-O from Jackass.

  • Do you *really* think she won’t put them on FULL BLAST if they pull more shenanigans like Meatgate??

    When people finally straighten up and START to fly right (…even when doing it kicking and dragging LOL!)–LET THEM.

  • Thanks for exposing this! I will no longer subscribe to VegNews, nor will I visit their website.

    The fact that their initial response was that its cheaper to use meat and dairy images shows their total lack of connection to their readership and an ethical vacuum.

    I don’t want anything to do with such a disingenuous, backhanded, unapologetic, company who changed only reluctantly and only after their first non-apology didn’t go over so well.

  • i just heard the publisher on NPR he didn’t sound at all apologetic to me ..said it’s common practice to fake food pictures..his mother did it at McCalls..still doesn’t see what the big deal was..blamed it uproar on an “anonymous blogger”
    what else in the magazine is “common practice” he stills sounds like a weasel to me..bet he eats hot dogs

  • listen to ATC 1st on npr.org

  • Good god, get over yourselves. You must be insufferable at a party.

  • Wow – IF Quarrygirl didn’t start the uproar that she did I don’t think that VN would have changed. Sometimes you have to start a riot to get people to listen to you. If she were “milder” like some are complaining about (Really?? We got what we wanted, didn’t we?) I think we may have been stuck with their lame non-apology and lazy photos of corpses on a bun.

    Anyways.. this makes me really happy. “We screwed up.” Exactly what I wanted to hear. I said in a previous post that if they formally apologized and changed from here on out I would forgive them. Where she says “Everyone deserves a second chance” I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree!

    I’m so glad I don’t have to stop buying their magazine now.. I really loved it.

  • I don’t care if they’re genuinely sorry or not. I only care that they change their ways.

  • I think your handling of this has been pitch-perfect. VegNews behaved abominably — didn’t we all learn from the 1970s that the cover-up is worse than the crime? that not “coming clean” is the best possible way to squander public trust? Cf VegNews’ inexcusable practice of deleting critical — and accurate — comment. You, quite appropriately, focused on that, as well as on the original deception. And, when VegNews, however tardily, finally issued an unequivocal apology, you graciously commended them for (at last!) doing the right thing, wished them well, but also made clear that it will be a while before they completely re-gain our trust.

    . . . Like you, I was angry and shocked by VegNews’ practices (and their complete lack of judgment in the wake of those pratices being exposed), but also very deeply saddened. This is still a sad story, but the arc is moving upward, and I am hopeful that your work will deter others from “vegan-washing” and will make VegNews a more ethical and honest place. (This may take a little more effort on their part than what they’ve so far pledged, including, to my mind, hiring new and more ethically conscious supervising editors. . . .)

  • QG — it leaves a very bad taste in my mouth too and I do hope this leads to positive change but I fear you are overly optimistic.

  • Please tell me you are not equating Joseph Connelly with Stalin!

  • omg fucking god… you people are absolutely hilarious… nuclear meltdowns in Japan and you’re upset because some dirt veggie rag couldn’t afford to do custom photo shoots…?

    thank you for a good laugh today, this one takes the cake…


    and eat a fucking burger or something

  • Peanut, I am with you! He didn’t sound apologetic at all; he was just making more excuses for his magazine’s abhorrent behavior. What a douche. I’m unsubscribing, for sure.

  • Hey vegan police, next time try handling a situation like this in a constructive manner instead of having the non-vegan world look at the whole community in a negative way. VegNews using different photos is one step forward while the New York Times writing up a story that says “a vegetarian magazine uses photos of meat” puts us two steps back. But at least your site got a sick shout out, right? If you put this much energy into direct action against animal enterprises instead of vegan establishments and magazines, you’d probably actually make a difference.

  • Annie Saviddge

    We must have heard different NPR shows as he apologized many times! Really, folks, cut some slack instead of nitpicking every little thing that VegNews does! Really! They have apologized and changed their policy. Geez, move on with your lives. If you don’t like them, then don’t read the magazine. Simple! Do something a bit more constructive, there is a whole world in dire need and your negative energy is really sad.

  • I’ve been a VegNews subscriber for years. I’ve noticed a decline in ‘weighty’ commentary and interesting articles in the past couple of years. I used to look forward to receiving VegNews but lately I’ve considered canceling my subscription . . . this may be the straw . . .

    Not to defend what VegNews did by using meat photos, (do they not have 8 thousands people who would LOVE to give them vegan photos?) but it is difficult to find non-copyrighted, photographs of vegan food on the web.

    BRAVO QuarryGirl for being the catalyst to bring about positive change! In all aspects of life we need MORE integrity NOT less. I’m truly disappointed in the way in which VegNews handled this issue.

    VegNews would do well to revamp the magazine to the more mature publication it once was a couple of years ago. One way to ‘grow up’ and show maturity is to take full responsibility when you screw up. I don’t see true apology reflected in the letter to the “VegNews Community”.

    It is completely appropriate to address QuarryGirl directly for bringing this issue to light. This letter is a partial apology at best. VegNews needs to step-up and do the right thing if they want the respect of a mature readership.

  • Clap! Clap! Clap! (I’m with you!!)

  • I am very disappointed in VegNews. While it is a good step that they apologized, it seems clear that the apology was only to save themselves and not because they felt sorry for what they did. Their first reaction was to try to cover it up and when that didn’t work, they pretty much said too bad that’s the way it is. It wasn’t until the big backlash and outrage did they “apologize”. And I am left with a distrust for the magazine now. It seems that the publisher doesn’t even believe in what his magazine stands for. I won’t see the magazine in the same way anymore.
    Thanks to QG for breaking this story!

  • What’s all the crap about the in house photography being far more expensive than buying stock photos?! Every week at QG, we see kick-ass photos of the actual food as served at many vegan or vegan-friendly establishments. Are we all paying for that with our heavy-duty QG subscriptions fees?

  • ROFL girl:

    Watch this before you eat your next “fucking burger”:


    (It’s a two minute youtube clip, I think your little brain can handle it)

    Or are you two busy burning your cat with your cigarette to bother?

  • If anyone really wants to see what kind of people VegNews really are, all they have to do is to look at how on the one hand they publish a “we screwed up” apology to save themselves from bankruptcy, while on the other hand they get all their friends and staff to post moronic comments attacking QG for “hurting the greater cause.”

  • Guess I’ll stick with Bitch magazine, at least they seem to be honest.

    Thanks QG — you have more courage in your pinky than I in my lifetime.

  • Quarrygirl IS hurting the “greater” cause. With the amount of bashing she does on vegan establishments and companies, I wouldn’t be surprised if she wasn’t even vegan. Instead of writing a blog, do something positive for veganism, and stop trying to hurt your own.

  • bravo to making change – the truth tellers, whistle blowers and those who saw the error of their ways. the people who are attacking QG don’t know the first thing about integrity or community.

    @daniel – if the NY times prints such article it is only because someone failed the vegan movement – in this case that would be VN. are we all supposed to let people be deceitful and sweep it under the rug because we are afraid of losing some sort of hold in mainstream media? look the other way…(?). it is an opportunity for VN to better their own image. and it looks like they are trying to do just that. it is a good thing. btw. thanks for being a part of this community. which directly supports this place. we appreciate you supporting QG’s readership.

    i choose to support honesty and integrity. i choose to support change for “good”. a vegan stock photo entity is brilliant!

    kudos to all the change-makers!!!

  • So the expose VegNews did about the Loving Hut restaurants was good for vegans and animals then?

    “…the New York Times writing up a story that says “a vegetarian magazine uses photos of meat” puts us two steps back.” RIGHT! VegNews should never have made that headline possible. If you think Quarry Girl was the ONLY person capable of blowing the lid off this story, you’re not really paying attention are you? This was VegNews’ fault—NO ONE ELSE CHOSE TO PUT PICS OF DEAD ANIMALS IN THEIR MAG!!!

    I’m not sure what you think would have been constructive (and successful.) They fired an editor that complained about dead animal pics. They refused vegan pics and vegan photo services well before this came to light. They deleted comments asking about it. They hung up when people called. Seriously, how open do you think Joe and Colleen were to constructive discussion of this issue. It was the public embarrassment and pressure alone that made them change their tune.

    Daniel, you clearly don’t care about hurting your own when you criticize those that pushed Vegnews for an explanation, an apology, and a changed policy. And by the way, VegNews DID change their policy, so I guess they think Quarry Girl is more right than they think you are. I happen to agree and it’s time for you to go do some of that constructive work you think is so awesome.

    Oh,and since you’re so focused on being constructive, what exactly was constructive about your choice to critique those criticizing VegNews?

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