CNN said the magazine admitted to using the meaty photographs after being outed by the author of a vegan blog called quarrygirl.com.
"The pictures we've been drooling over for years are actually of MEAT!" quarrygirl charged. "Get your barf bags ready!"
The San Francisco magazine said it has at times used stock photographs to illustrate recipes because it can't afford to hire a photographer to produce its own meatless photographs.
"Yes, from time to time, after exhausting all options, we have resorted to using stock photography that may or may not be vegan," the magazine said in a letter addressing the issue.
The magazine received some support from people who understand the issues surrounding magazine publication.
"As a privately owned publication with no outside funding, VegNews has done the near impossible by lasting 11 years and securing prime real estate in bookstores across the country," wrote Michael Parrish DuDell, senior editor of Ecorazzi.com, a self-described "green gossip blog."