Vegan magazines galore

There are several vegetarian and specifically vegan monthly magazines now available in high street shops including several major supermarkets and WH Smith. However, a subscription (which includes free delivery) will substantially reduce the cover price. Vegan Food & Living is the most expensive at £4-99 per issue, but a ‘sub’ will reduce this to £2-99. VF&L offers a good mixture of news, a diverse range of articles, and numerous recipes (an average of 75 per issue). If you just want lots of recipes with excellent photos of every dish, then Vegetarian Living is stuffed full of them. It’s a mainstream glossy ‘foodie mag’, and never includes any political or ethical issues. Their current subscription offer effectively reduces the cover price from £4-95 to £3-29 (and includes a free copy of the Deliciously Ella cookbook). The content and style of Cook Vegan is similar, the obvious difference being that this only features vegan recipes. Then there is Vegan Life, which unfortunately is a difficult one to recommend. This has more lifestyle pieces, and will cover animal welfare and environmental issues, but it’s a bit of a mess. I’ve had several articles published in Vegan Life, but they don’t pay contributors anything. That reduces their production costs, but freelancers have to earn a living (and feed themselves). Whereas VF&L, Vegetarian Living and Cook Vegan look highly professional, Vegan Life is distinctly amateurish by comparison. The quality of the ‘journalism’ is variable, and this highlights a major drawback to the “we don’t pay anyone” policy. In my opinion, VF&L offers the best and most varied content, but it definitely isn’t worth £4-99 a copy. The main problem with all these titles is that they tend to be rather repetitive. Most magazines and newspapers are suffering from dwindling sales, and some are switching to a digital-only version.

Perusing the cookery section of the magazines department in WH Smith reveals a plethora of publications, including BBC Good Food, Feel Good Food, Healthy Food, Great British Food and the indispensable Australian Women’s Weekly Food Magazine. There’s also a clear trend towards niche titles. Apart from the vegetarian and vegan magazines, there’s Gluten Free Heaven, Free From Heaven, Cake Decorating Heaven and Baking Heaven. Perhaps Richard Dawkins could be persuaded to edit a new secular cookery monthly entitled Heaven Free Heaven?

Paul Freestone

(Since writing this article Paul has come across yet another vegan magazine. Confusingly called Vegan Living, it costs £4-99 but is also available by subscription which reduces the cover price by £1 per copy. Paul describes it as “just another glossy food mag” with “endless recipes”, so it’s fair to say that Vegan Food & Living remains his ‘pick of the bunch’.)

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Oxfordshire's local veggie group

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