Category Archives: health

VegNews Magazine Using Stock Photos of Meat Dishes

This story is practically old news by now, and I had no intention of publicly weighing in on the matter, but for some reason, I am very bothered by this situation. So, here it is:

April 13th, 2011 – Blogger QuarryGirl received an email tip from a reader who realized that a photo on the VegNews website of a veggie burger was actually a picture of a real hamburger from istockphoto.com. Both he and QuarryGirl left multiple comments on the VegNews site notifying them of the “mistake,” all of which were immediately deleted. In fact, the reader was told that his “inappropriate and mean-spirited commenting has violated the  policy of VegNews,” and that VegNews moderators would continue to remove his comments. After further investigation, it appeared that this was a fairly common practice on the site, and that images were even doctored to remove any meaty elements, such as the bones in the picture of spare ribs below (courtesy of QuarryGirl):

Before

vegnews realribs RANT: VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues   

After

vegribs RANT: VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues

April 14th, 2011 – VegNews released a statement in which they neither apologized nor promised never to use stock photos again (not even non-vegan stock photos). The statement begins with, “The entire VegNews community is deeply saddened with the dialogue that has transpired over the last 12 hours.” Uhh…sorry? Wait…what? Are we supposed to be apologizing to them?

It continues with a sort-of sob story about how expensive it is to publish a magazine and trying to compete with mainstream mags and nobody was vegan eleven years ago, oh-my-god-how-sad. Oh, and they won some awards from Oprah and Martha Stewart in the process! And basically, they couldn’t have done all of this without using stock photos. Hey, that’s just “industry standard.”

It’s not like I have a problem with using stock photos, in general, but it seems pretty obvious that a vegan audience isn’t going to be to happy when they find out that they’re actually looking at a picture of chicken breast soup and not seitan stew. I think VegNews knew that, too, or they wouldn’t have kept it secret. Usually, if you feel like you have to hide something, it’s probably something you shouldn’t be doing. Another thing that I’ve been wondering about is whether or not these photos, which are supposed to correspond with a specific recipe in the magazine, even look anything like the actual dish. I mean, when I make meals from my favorite vegan cookbooks and sites, like Vegan Dad, the dish I prepare actually turns out looking something like the picture posted on the site.

Which brings me to another point: there are many vegan food bloggers who take their own mouth-watering pictures to go along with the recipes they’ve created. If they can do it without making any money from what they post, it can’t be that difficult to get a decent point-and-shoot and some white plates and snap a picture of the actual dish. There’s no one on the VegNews staff with even a bit of cooking or photography experience who would be willing to make the dish at home and take a picture of it? Even if no one at VegNews could cook or take pictures of food, which would be really strange since that’s such a major focus of the magazine, I would rather go without a picture than see a picture of a dish made of meat that probably looks nothing like the actual creation. Seriously, you don’t need a picture of every dish. Most cookbooks don’t even have pictures for all of their recipes. Same goes for Vegetarian Times, another popular veg mag.   

Is anyone with me on this? Because I was shocked at how many bloggers and commenters defended VegNews’ actions. I first saw the story on Vegansaurus, but I wasn’t terribly surprised with their wishy-washy response because one of their writers also works for VegNews. Pretty apparent conflict of interests, although they don’t seem to think that it’s clouding their judgement. A lot of people think this is akin to airbrushing images of models and celebrities, but I don’t agree. I feel like most people who like to spend their time looking at  celebrities actually WANT to see them airbrushed and made up and wouldn’t like what they saw if the person wasn’t wearing any make-up. In short, people want to be fooled when they see that celebrity, and they allow it to happen. And anyway, when you look at a doctored picture of Jennifer Lopez, you still recognize her as Jennifer Lopez. As someone who loves to cook, yes, I love to see pictures of beautiful food, but it’s just as important to me that the picture is an accurate portrayal of the dish that I am so excited to make. If you have to sacrifice a little bit of the “beauty” to do that, which I don’t see why you would unless the food is just ugly to begin with and then you shouldn’t photograph it at all, then do it.

As a final note, a lot of people are also saying that this issue is distracting from the important matters; that is, animal cruelty, political issues that affect animal matters, etc. Maybe so, but is that the fault of the vegan public or the perpetrator? People were probably assuming they could hold VegNews to a higher standard and wouldn’t have to police a company with ethics as its main focus. To be sure, they are not the first ethics-touting company to screw up, and they are certainly not the last, but I think we have the right to be disappointed that we can’t even rely on people who supposedly share our values to represent us in the way that we would like to be represented.

More takes on the matter:
QuarryGirl
Vegansaurus
The Discerning Brute
This Dish is Veg

The Best Vegan… CUPCAKES!!!!

So Natalie threw this article in my lap today. It’s about some babe who goes by the name of Chloe Coscarelli. And that’s not all!!! It’s also about VEGAN CUPCAKES!!!

So… basically… Chloe went head to head with three of “the country’s top bakers” in the MOST ULTIMATE CUPCAKE CHALLENGE EVER! All three of these “top” bakers decided to be boring and make tried and true, traditional SNOOZEVILLE cupcakes, but our brave hero, Chloe, made all vegan cupcakes. AND DESTROYED THE COMPETITION! According to one judge, “[The cupcakes] were delicious. It was everything we were looking for in a cupcake.” So there.

Here’s the best part… Chloe posted the recipes to some of these award winning desserts (as well as other mouthwatering delights) on her blog. For example…


Raspberry Tiramisu Cupcakes


Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Maybe I will try to make these soon. I’ll make sure to let you all know how they turn out.

scott

news with natalie

here is a new feature I am working on AT THE MOMENT. it is called news with natalie and it is the news.

here is today’s RUNDOWN.

swine flu is over! if you didn’t get a vaccine, finally you can go outside! no one overreacted about this pandemic AT ALL. be careful!

WAIT. a dramatic video containing a car crash on a RACETRACK? this does sound dramatic! click through to see the drama! see it?

one last thing–if you haven’t seen EAT PRAY LOVE, don’t! you MIGHT want to check this out, though:
EAT PREY LOVE
it does look like an absolute delight.

i love you.

nataliebeth

Getting Ripped

i can’t tell if he actually looks better or not ?

nataliebeth

Culture Affects Murders Vs Suicides

i came across this study on LETHAL VIOLENCE today via Mind Hacks. basically… it hypothesizes that differences in culture affect how lethal violence is directed (suicide or murder).

An Analysis of WHO Data on Lethal Violence: Relevance of the New Western Millennium.

Rezaeian M.

Asia Pac J Public Health. 2009 Jul 2. [Epub ahead of print]

INTRODUCTION: Suicide and homicide are considered to be lethal violent acts with a clear difference in their directions, that is, inwardly “killing oneself” or outwardly “killing another,” respectively. There are some studies in which these 2 violent acts are considered under the same framework mostly within Western countries. This article for the first time investigates this issue throughout the world. Material and methods. The present study uses data that have been estimated by Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project for 2000 for the 6 different regions of the world proposed by WHO. The suicide/homicide ratio has been calculated by dividing the suicide rate by the sum of the suicide and homicide rates within each age and sex groups.

FINDINGS. Three distinct groups have emerged. In the first group, that is, Southeast Asia, Europe, and Western Pacific, lethal violence in both males and females usually directs inward whereas in the second group, that is, Africa, lethal violence in both males and females directs outward. In the third group, that is, America and Eastern Mediterranean, in males lethal violence generally directs outward whereas in females it often directs inward.

CONCLUSION: Under the same framework if a factor causes external blame for the people’s failures it will increase the likelihood that the suicide/homicide ratio is expressed as homicide and vice versa. Although this might explain the observed pattern to some extent, more in-depth studies are needed to better understand the causal root of the pattern.

here’s more

scott

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Predictions For the Next 10 Years

I watch and read a lot of news, thinking about issues and where the world is headed and what not.  A new decade is fast approaching.  Hard to believe, but the 2010’s are less then 9 months away.  Anyway these are my thoughts for the next 10 years.

Abortion: Now I’m not necessarily for abortion, but I can’t see abortion becoming illegal in the United States.  Their  may be tougher restrictions in the future, but overall abortion will still be an available choice.

China: China is fast becoming a world power and major player on the world stage.  It will surpass the United States as the economic power. And the United States will no longer be the sole superpower politically. Instead it will be a “multi-polar” world where the U.S. Europe, Russia, China and to a lesser extent, other parts of the world will have an equal footing and say on the world stage. For culture such as movies, TV, popular  culture, and music America will still be the dominating force though not as much and other countries being a greater force worldwide.

Health care: The United States will have some form of universal health care in place by 2019. I just think it’s inevitable with Obama in office and the Democrats in power.

Past Torture Issues: Irrespective of whether the Bush Administration really crossed the line or not in respect to the handling of suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay or those sent to “secret prisons”; Bush, Cheney and others  working for them will not be put on trial.  Obama has already said it will not happen.  Doing so will make Republicans even more against his policies and agenda in my opinion.

Gay Marriage: Gay marriage will become legal across the nation, probably on a deeply divided vote by the Supreme Court.

War on Terrorism: Surprisingly, I believe the war in Afghanistan will have not only ended by 2019, but in less then 5 years.  2  possible scenarios :The Taliban and the U.S. will come to some kind of truce or the Taliban will simply give up much like Al-Qaeda did in Iraq due to our drones bombing them and their leaders. Once the Taliban are gone Al-Qaeda will soon be destroyed – and Osama Bin Laden.

Just want to say that these are just my thoughts and even a few of my predictions I hope will not come true. Feel free to give your own opinions and thoughts.

2010movie_end Discokid

The Good Old Days

scott

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