T.O.F.U.: 100% meat (photo) free, as we should be


I just wanted to put my two cents in on the new vegan hot issue, which QuarryGirl recently brought to light through some rather determined investigating:

VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues

As someone involved in the publishing business, though not to such an extent as VegNews, I have always battled with several things involving the vegan “purity” of the magazine. The big ones would involve things like booking a tour date in a non-vegan bar, having people involved with the project who are not vegan, promoting companies that are not 100% vegan, and including articles that may not be completely relevant to veganism itself.

However, I can not say I have ever debated whether or not using stock photos of animal products was acceptable.

Furthermore, even though it is not a major issue with T.O.F.U. as of yet, I try to keep an open platform for both praise and criticism with what we do. If I was afraid of a little bit of negative writing, I wouldn’t be vegan, and I certainly would not be promoting the lifestyle with a magazine!

As a business, VegNews has a bottom line. With a large staff working on every issue, the bills have to be paid and corners will be cut. So, to some degree, I can see the trail of decisions that probably led to the use of stock photos. They’re cheap, they’re easily accessible, they’re high quality, and for the most part, the difference goes unnoticed.

Sadly, they’re not vegan.

So, am I saying people should jump from the VegNews ship? No. They have done plenty of good for the veg* community, and I think in a lot of ways that outweighs the use of these photos. What I do think we should be doing is looking for an explanation. If the concern is really about the bottom line, then perhaps VegNews can start looking to the vegan community for pictures? T.O.F.U. magazine has been lucky enough to have amazing contributors (all volunteer!) who offer their writing, photos, music and numerous other talents just to see an issue happen. Maybe VegNews should look a little further online than istockphoto for their (not so vegan) bread and butter?

Regardless of how you feel about the newest scandal in our community, you’re always welcomed to check out our little publication, and you can do so without wondering about what you’re really drooling over.

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