VegNews Photo Controversy Outrages Vegan Community

31 Aug

This week, QuarryGirl of launched into a rant against VegNews, a vegan magazine that has been using photos that contained meat and other non-vegan-friendly ingredients to illustrate vegan recipes.

“Our conclusion, therefore, is that VegNews has serious editorial integrity issues, and cannot be trusted,” QuarryGirl writes. QuarryGirl won an award from VegNews magazine in 2009 — ironically, it was the “Scandal Breakers of the Year” honor — and she decided to mail the award back to the magazine in protest.

VegNews has responded to the controversy via a letter on their site, which read in part:

“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.”

In an interview this evening, VegNews Founder and Publisher Joseph Connelly said, “VegNews is obviously very sorry. We’ve obviously upset many of our readers.”


Shark Finally Cut from the Menu at The Food Network

30 Aug


Recently, the Food Network made a strategic move to cut shark from their menu after 30,000 people added their names to a petition protesting the use of shark meat in the network’s recipes, the food Messiah decided to eliminate the endangered species from its website and all future programming.

“As a policy, Food Network and Cooking Channel do not incorporate or showcase recipes that involve animals on the endangered species list or the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list. With the recent addition of sharks to those watch-lists, we will make sure that future content does not highlight shark as an ingredient,” said Susan Stockton, vice president of culinary production at the Food Network.

Shockingly, the network has never been faced with a grassroots movement of this sort before, and their quick response has made them a poster child for good crisis public relations.

Today, nearly one-third of shark species are swimming dangerously close to extinction, and populations are at record low levels thanks to overfishing and finning.

Aside from cuisine, there’s another luxury that’s affecting the shark population ― our personal care products. Check the label on your favorite anti-aging moisturizer or lip gloss. If you run across the term squalene, it’s often just a cute little name for the big fish that scares the living shit out of us during a snorkeling trip.

Though squalene can be derived from plant sources, it is an oil that comes from a shark’s liver. Some major brands, including L’Oreal and Unilever agreed to phase it out in 2008, but it is still found in a number of international beauty products. Double check your beauty products before you swipe them at the checkout counter.

It will take 30 years and almost $12 million to clean up Lake Ellesmere, the most polluted lake in New Zealand.

30 Aug

New Zealand’s government has pledged $11.6 million to clean-up the country’s most polluted late.

Lake Ellesmere, in the Canterbury region of the South island and the fifth largest in the country was noted for the levels of pollution, damaging indigenous wildlife and its ecology, in a report last year.

Environment Minister Nick Smith pledged legislative changes encouraging stronger enforcements of laws regulating clean waterways, changes in farming practice and clean-up initiatives. The farming industry, most notably individuals polluting waterways close to their farmland has largely been blamed for rising levels of pollution.

Lake Ellesmere will have shorter opening periods from 22 September with greater protection over the area surrounding it. The minister said, “It has taken 5o years for it to get into this mess and it will take a long term commitment to put it right.”

The government faced criticism earlier this year when a report was published blaming a leaderless strategy on waterways. The Cawthorn Institute report, commissioned by Fish and game New Zealand argued a clean-up of waterways was not happening quickly enough, nor with sufficient force. The report blamed a flawed fresh water policy, particularly giving regional councils a period of 30 years to set pollution limits.

The latest investment in Lake Ellesmere has been welcomed by the Green Party in New Zealand but have questioned how effective it will be? A proposal has been made for an expansion in intensive irrigation of dairying in the catchment of the lake. It would lead to an increase in nitrogen pollution in the lake.

Dr Russel Norman is the Co-Leader of the Green Party, “Scientists have shown that land use intensification, such as putting more fertiliser and cows on our land, is the primary reason for water quality decline in New Zealand.

“The plan announced by the Government is a welcome step towards a clean Te Waihora, but to make it happen, we need standards for clean water as well.

“We need standards for clean water that limit the amount of pollution flowing into our rivers and lakes, otherwise we will be forever throwing taxpayer and private money towards clean-up initiatives.”

“We note that once again that the taxpayer and ratepayer are paying the lion’s share of the clean-up cost, making the case yet again that we need a price on irrigation water to fund these clean-ups,”

The New Zealand government has argued a ‘water fee’ would bankrupt the country and prove too costly.

UNT Vegan Dining Hall Now Open

23 Aug

The University of North Texas in Denton 100% vegan dining hall is officially open to their students.  Please click on the link to view The Maple Hall cafeteria’s menu.  Link

Vegan Banana Bread

22 Aug

This weekend I made a delicious vegan banana bread loaf for my boyfriend.  The recipe listed below was extremely easy and affordable to make.


3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup unbleached cane sugar

1/2 vegan margarine, at room temp

3 very ripe bananas, mashed well (The blacker the better!)

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup vanilla soy milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Spray bread pan with non-stick cooking spray
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon
  4. Mix together the vegan margarine and sugars.  Then add bananas, soy milk and vanilla
  5.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 45 minutes
  6. Let bread sit for 20 minutes to cool down before cutting

Oakland University offering Class on Veganism

17 Aug

Oakland University which is located in Rochester, Michigan will be introducing a course on veganism through its school of nursing.  “A Lifestyle Change to Improve Health:  The Vegan Diet” will be offered online to their students as well as the general public.  The school’s goal is to educate the entire public on plant-based cooking and how the vegan diet can prevent chronic illnesses and diseases.

Want to Kill Fewer Animals? Give Up Eggs!

16 Aug

The Scientific American wrote an amazing article by Julie Galef.  The author asks the question: how much killing is associated with obtaining a given number of calories from beef, pork, chicken, milk, or eggs?

Her results suggestions that chicken is by far the worst food, with each slaughter netting just 3000 calories. And it turns out that eggs, rather than red meat, are the next worst choice, with each death providing just over 20,000 calories. Beef comes in as the meat choice that demands the least killing, generating about 400,000 calories per life. And milk is far and away better than beef in this respect, with each dairy cow yielding more than 17 million calories in her life.

Put another way, getting a given number of calories from beef instead of milk results in 43 times more killing. By choosing eggs instead of milk causes 855 times more killing. And choosing chicken instead of milk generates nearly 6000 times more killing.

Wow, this data is crazy.  Please read this article for a more in-depth analysis.