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Category Archive: World Wide Web

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  1. We just got an e-mail from Michael Greger, M.D., indefatiguable advocate for animal-friendly, evidence-based education and awareness on issues of nutrition and public health. He’s one of those people who seems to work more hours than there are in a day, and all of his work is good.

    He wrote to tell us about his new website, Already preloaded with 288 videos excised from his Latest in Clinical Nutrition DVD series, starting on Monday, August 22nd, he’ll be adding a new video every day for at least one year. And he’s not taking weekends off. (Keep in mind that he’s doing this on top of his day job as Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at HSUS.)

    Here’s the intro video for the project:

    In addition to starting from a pro-animal baseline, Dr. Greger is unfailingly pro-science and pro-evidence–links to the original research cited accompany each video. He’ll undoubtably piss off many folks who are more faith-based in matters of medicine and nutrition, and I’m A-OK with that. I totally love it when Dr. Greger dispenses such truisms as “never believe anything you read in health food stores” (in a video about the harmfulness of kombucha) and dismisses homeopathy as useless. His “snake oil” category is totally great.

    Now, Dr Greger also has lots of positive things to say, and it’s great when they’re about things I already like–say peanut butter or vinegar.

    Putting well-indexed information on the internet is one of the best, most responsible things anyone can do in our day and age. This site sure beats the old format of hiding all this material away in DVDs. And whether you love tagclouds or hate ’em, there’s no question that’s is awe-inspiring. There’s a lot of stuff here, and there will be lots more.

    I’m not much of a video guy myself–I’d prefer to read these as text, with relevant charts and figures included. But I know that a lot of folks do like videos, so, OK. For what it’s worth, most of the videos posted thus far seem to consist of Dr Greger narrating over images of the documents cited. So it seems pretty safe to listen without watching.

    The site is totally noncommercial, funded by the Jesse & Julie Rasch Foundation, a Canadian “venture philanthropy” organization I’d never heard of before.

    Dr Greger says he’ll “take research requests, respond to comments, and answer any questions anyone has.” My topic request? Cleanses. I’d love to hear his take on whether regimens like the Master Cleanse healthy, harmless, or harmful.

    Anyways, go check out It’s awesome!

  2. Sure, go with her if you must, but I can think of so many better ways...

    Sure, go with her if you must, but I can think of so many better ways…

    Ellen DeGeneres (the brand, if not the woman) recently launched a Going Vegan with Ellen site, to acclaim from such varied vegan media outlets as and VegNews. Those folks may like it, but I don’t!

    The site probably will help some people be vegan (or closer to vegan), and may in the ultimate balance save some animals. But it’s still a squandered opportunity when you think how much of an effect it could have if it wasn’t so terrible. Ellen’s got a big audience. Imagine how much better the world could be if she gave them a great website instead of this mess.

    First problem, it seems to equate “going vegan” with adopting a vegan diet. If you can find any mention of non-dietary aspects of veganism on there, please let me know. You know–leather, ingredients in non-food products, avoiding products tested on animals (like, ahem, Cover Girl), etc.

    And it’s a godawful website. The visual design is clunky and unbalanced. The interface is atrocious, breaking what little content the site has is into numerous pieces, requiring dozens of clicks to see information that would make more sense on one page. But, hey, clicks are what you sell ads against!

    They manage to cram in some really intrusive ads, too, via tactics like putting them in place of slides in slideshows. And to crown all other sins, they use Tynt, the copy/paste jerks, and Kontera, the useless mouseover popup jerks. And I have a special prize for anyone who can find me someone who likes the fucking Meebo Bar as an end-user. Any visitor with the slightest bit of self respect will run away screaming before they get to any meaningful content.

    It doesn’t seem like much of a site for fans of Ellen, either. I couldn’t find any content by Ellen, quoting Ellen, or directly relating to Ellen’s own experiences as a vegan. The Getting Started page would be a great place to hear from Ellen about how she got started on her vegan diet, or at least a few peppy quotes. Instead, we’re mired in a longish and vague chunk of text offering such expertly copyedited advice as “Go to your grocery store and load up on granola (read the labels to make sure they’re vegan) granola…” Sigh.

    If Ellen’s goal is to make the maximum number of people go vegan, or even adopt a vegan diet, this site is a poor effort for someone with her resources. She would have done better to just make one page with links to already existing quality vegan websites. I wouldn’t pick on an individual or a mom & pop site for the design issues, but AOL and/or Time Warner know exactly what they’re doing. And I think they’re jerks for it. And good luck finding the infernal thing via Ellen’s main site.

    Also, this is the most useless recipe ever. (And I promise I’m not just saying that because it’s attributed to Kathy Freston.)

  3. Here’s what VegNews says now (about the non-vegan photos thing). Thanks, VegNews, for a reasonable response. Now we can FINALLY go back to talking about Natalie Portman.

    April 18, 2011

    Dear VegNews Community,

    We screwed up.

    With regard to our use of symbolic imagery in VegNews, our readers got it right. We wholeheartedly apologize. We assure you that we will never again use non-vegan photographs in VegNews.

    Here’s our commitment to you:

    • Recipes in VegNews will be represented only by custom vegan photography.
    Count on it.

    • All stock images used in the magazine and website will be vegan. We will make sure so that you can be sure.

    • VegNews will build and host a vegan photo bank to assure the availability of vegan stock images. Look for details in the coming days.

    We thank everyone for the invaluable feedback on this critical issue. We exist only to serve you and the vegan cause, and are grateful that you care so passionately about our work.

    The VegNews team is committed to restoring the trust we have earned for eleven years.

    Together, let’s build a compassionate future.

    With gratitude,
    Joseph Connelly, Publisher
    Colleen Holland, Associate Publisher
    Sutton Long, Art Director
    Elizabeth Castoria, Managing Editor

  4. I grabbed this from VegNews, who may have gotten it from a stock photo site, and it might not be vegan. Just putting it all out there.

    I grabbed this from VegNews, who may have gotten it from a stock photo site, and it might not be vegan. Just putting it all out there.

    Guys. Didya hear? VegNews has been using stock photos of non-vegan food on their site and in their magazine as if they were vegan photos snapped by the mag’s staffers, QuarryGirl pointed out yesterday. Someone, start a riot! No, wait. Actually, before you cancel your subscription and torch their offices, let’s think about this.

    Let me start by saying that if you get their newsletter, read their magazine, or visit their website, you have to know that these are stock photos. Case in point, yesterday’s newsletter recipe for Vegan Peanut Sauce with Spinach & Tomatoes includes this photo of peanuts next to a jar of peanut butter that is so obviously not the recipe. (Side-ish note: I’ve always been a little frustrated by their recipe photos for this reason: I have no clue what this thing is supposed to look like when it’s done because they sent me this ridiculously untelling stock photo.)

    And if you know they’re using stock photos and you gave it any thought, you’d probably conclude that these can’t all be vegan stock photos. I mean, when was the last time you bumped into a vegan stock photo site? If you have, please tell me, because I might like to use it.

    Then, you little detective, you, maybe you flip through your other magazines because, hey, VegNews can’t be the only publication that uses stock photos, and there, more stock photos. As Erik Marcus points out on, pretty much every magazine uses stock photos here and there as a matter of practicality.

    Thing is, VegNews doesn’t say, anywhere, ever, that they’re using stock photos, and yet we have to assume they wanted us to think this was vegan food, in some cases, that they photographed. Which makes you feel a little deceived, doesn’t it? It wasn’t just one time, either; as bloggers I think we’ve all made the mistake of forgetting to credit someone’s Flickr photo, YouTube video, or whatever, and then one of your co-bloggers gently reminds you and you fix it and you try not to do it again. But VN has done this repeatedly. And as QuarryGirl commenter kristin, who says she was a short-time copy editor at VN, notes, she brought the meaty photo problem to their attention when she worked there, and they ignored it. Continue Reading…

  5. I am partial to playing dress up in real life. Looking good makes me feel good. Dan Mims is all about looking good, feeling good and keeping things on the cruelty-free tip. I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with Dan that didn’t dip into fashion; it seems only natural for me to talk shop with the dapper vegan dude on his new venture The Ethical Man.

    Who is Dan Mims and what is The Ethical Man?
    On a fundamental level, I don’t know who I am and suspect I never will. As a result, I don’t spend any time thinking about it. I’m much more comfortable thinking about what I am — an anti-capitalist entrepreneur; a classically trained renegade philosopher; a sensitive, musically responsive pounder of drums; an analytical romantic. I also know what I want to be: good. Really, morally good. Not in-my-own-head good, or the-Bible-says-so good, or the-electorate-thinks-I’m-good; genuinely good. And I want that assessment to stand up to the harsh scrutiny of properly applied formal logic and evidential considerations. Continue Reading…