In the middle of a nasty ownership fight, the last thing VegNews needed was the mass resignation of its top editors that occurred on Monday. In a seemingly coordinated action, Elizabeth Castoria, Jennifer Chen and Anna Peraino left the magazine. The news broke after Chen tweeted it to her 1,600+ followers.
The magazine’s website, which has yet to be updated, but hey, it’s not like they have the word “news” in their oh wait — still lists Castoria as its managing editor, Chen as senior editor, and Peraino as online editor. I guess it’s hard to update your masthead online when your online editor has quit.
As vegans have probably heard, the co-founders of the magazine, Joseph Connelly and Colleen Holland, can’t even agree on who gets to be called a cofounder. It’s a strange situation. How strange? Well, I decided to reach out to VegNews for comment on the resignations, so I went to the “Press Room” page on their website. Which lists Colleen Holland as the “press contact.” (It also lists her as co-founder, even though her co-founder says she’s not a co-founder.)
Maybe they’ve patched things up, I thought. Or at least settled their legal spat. So I sent off an email asking for comment on the resignations and on the status of their legal woes. I received a friendly reply back from Holland telling me that “given the pending litigation between Mr. Connelly and me” she was unable to address the matter and referring me to her attorneys! So much for any resolution. And for any “press contact.”
It’s hard to imagine an organization being more dysfunctional than asking the media to speak with someone who says they cannot speak to the media because they’re in a dispute with the organization. Not that we should expect more from an organization that claimed to support veganism and vegetarianism but instead used photos of actual meat that it passed off as vegetables, including going so far as to airbrush the bones out of a photo of actual ribs.
That story, broken by Quarrygirl two years ago, led not to an immediate apology but to a pathetic response defending the practice. It was only after VegNews must have realized they were jeopardizing their existence by sticking to their disgusting position that they finally caved on the matter. But by then it was too late and their credibility was gone. Anyone who is vegan for ethical reasons was now aware of the kind of people that must be running that publication. Even the New York Times chimed in on how VegNews was “eating a little crow.”
Oh, and one of the people signing that letter of apology? Managing editor Elizabeth Castoria, who chose to resign on Monday, and not two years ago when it was revealed that her vegan and vegetarian subscribers had been spending their hard earned money on photos of delectable dead animal flesh.