back to article Veggies tricked into dating meat-gobbling escorts

Vegetarians looking online for lovers who have the same dietary preferences as they do were misled by dating site, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled today. The ASA has demanded that the homepage of VeggieDates be changed to reflect the fact that most of its members were neither vegetarian nor vegan. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    managing expectations

    "a frustrated Veggie Dates member who discovered that the majority of other singles on the site in fact enjoyed eating dead animals"

    Not all bad - better to discover that than that your date enjoys eating live animals, surely?

    Have to wonder how VeggieDates expected to get away with this one...

  2. Jacqui


    is pretty tame but the idea of speciality dating sites sharing a common pool of members is terrifying.

    I can image carrot munchers joining this site and finding thier details appearing on more exotic dating sites that share a single global pool of members.

    If employers did a search for your details and say found you on an "odd" dating site, this could wreck your chances of a good job.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "tame"!? I rather think not

      As for being passed onto more exotic sites, it's a short step from carrot muncher to rug muncher that's been the ruin of many.

    2. alwarming

      re: vaggiedates

      I think Vagi-eaters disagree!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: vaggiedates

      "is pretty tame but the idea of speciality dating sites sharing a common pool of members is terrifying."

      I know of dating site that started sharing it's pool of members with a dating site specializing in homosexual dating. At one point the filter on the homosexual dating site failed and some heterosexual members started getting propositions from members of the same gender they were not at all interested in.

      1. schnide

        "I know of.."

        Love it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this...

    ...Darwin trying to help veggies/vegans overcome their biological weaknesses?


    A Chicken

  4. Usually Right or Wrong

    They can search on atributes, but

    cant search on a tick-box that says I am a veggie/non-veggie?

    I need to know what technology they are using so that I NEVER buy it for my organisation.

    1. Gordon 10


      It was explained in the article. It wasn't a tech limitation but the fact that the profiles were pooled with other sites. Presumably they all used a standard template profile format with no allowance for custom fields.

      Or the site was too lazy to pursue an agreed change to the profile for all sites.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Thank you for demonstrating your lack of knowledge.

        If profiles on VeggieDates have an attribute that says 'Veggie' or 'Vegan', then it can be searched on, even if the other sites in the pool do not have a corresponding profile attribute. Searches initiated from any other site in the pool may not know of the attribute, and will then not allow you to select on that, but searches initiated from VeggieDates should know about that attribute and automatically drop any profile from elsewhere in the pool.

        If they use a search that only deals with a lowest common denominator, profile-wise, then VeggieDates admins are no more intelligent than the plants they're eating.

        1. Steven Roper

          It's really very simple

          $sql = "SELECT * FROM customers WHERE flags & ".$is_vegan." AND sex = '".$sexual_preference."' AND age > ".$min_age." AND age < ".$max_age." ORDER BY enroldate";

          I don't see why there's a problem here.

  5. Wize



    (waits for downvotes)

  6. Promotor Fidei

    Very misleading, indeed

    I thought veggies referred to vegetables: as in rich, old and comatose.

    The perfect husband: 98 years old, 30 million quid in the checking account and 40° fever.

  7. Poor Coco
    Thumb Down

    "It had not been possible"

    My ass; "We were much too incompetent."

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Veggie's upset? Something smells bad about that.

    Never mind I'm sure it'l blow over.

  9. Pypes

    So they already had "is a vegetarian" as a field in the database

    Surely only returning vegetarians would have required modifying all of say 1 fucking line of code.

    I think "not possible to implement" most likely translates as either "we pay someone else to run out dating network and don't have a fucking clue how it works" or alternatively "we sold all your info to a 3rd party dating site"

  10. Loyal Commenter

    Am I the only one

    who read that as 'meat goblins'?

  11. CD001

    Why Vern, what is that smell? - ayup, bullcrap


    Unfortunately there was no filter to let people search for users who had ticked that option. Veggie Dates explained that it was a feature that they had intended to include but it had not been possible.


    WTF - seriously? It's not possible to do a conditional search on your database to only return results where "user.veggie = 1"?

    1. CaptainHook

      not if there is no user.veggie field

      the common pool of dating profiles which the Veggie Dating site was using to bulk out its own membership list didn't have a field for food preferences therefore there was nothing to filter on for anyone who didn't register directly with the Veggie Dating site.

  12. Annihilator
    Paris Hilton

    Is this like

    The dating site for people in uniform, and people who like people in uniform? Understood the advert basically saying at the end that regardless, anyone could join. Presumably discrimination ensues otherwise.

    But... what's this got to do with escorts?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In most of these sites, the most attractive entries in the database belong to escorts who have signed up. Its a common tactic, they chat someone up and then when it comes to the meeting its... "Oh by the way do you have a contribution for my 'upkeep'" or similar... Its a remarkably successful ploy!

    2. Pypes

      uniform dating..

      I always took the uniform dating advert to mean "twats and people who like twats" and thought it was a pretty good idea to keep them all in one place so they aren't spoiling things for other people.

  13. jake Silver badge

    It never fails to astonish me ...

    ... how gullible humanity as a whole really is.

    1. Chris007


      Not heard of that word - can you check your dictionary and let me know what it says.

      1. jake Silver badge


        The first time I ran across that one was in "Reader's Digest" in about 1965. I'm absolutely certain it's much older than that.

  14. P. Pod

    Vegetablists are OK, but I couldn't eat a whole one.

    1. roninfla0

      No, but certain parts of certains individuals are quite pleasant.....

  15. Spanners Silver badge

    It's a database

    All it needs is a field that indicates 0-Anorexic, 1-Vegan, 2-Vegetarian and 3-Omnivore. The filter would just look at that.. If they cannot do that, they have no access to their system or they are not capable of understanding the idea.

    PS - having spent my college days there, I wonder if there might need to be an additional value - 4-Glaswegian

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "Vegan" would be a sub-attribute to 0-Anorexic.

      1. Piro Silver badge

        If only..

        Too much IT work and as a result.. Beer, has taken care of any claim to being waif.

    2. BoldMan

      If this site is anything like other ones I've had dealings with, the code was written (badly) by some cheap php shop in Bangalore or Mumbai and the owners don't have a clue how it works. I was asked by owners of a similar site a couple of years ago to take a look to see if I could add some extra functionality and just looking through the site's code was enough to make me want to tear my eyes out and retire from programming forever!

    3. Anonymous Coward

      surely you need 2 fields ?

      with options sumin' like :-

      field (1) anoxeric , correct-weight , obese

      field (2) vegan, vegitarian , pescitarian, lacto-ovo-vegitarian , omnivore , carnivore

      I can't see how you can mix up vegi / meat eaters with anorexics. There must surely be meat eating anorexics , ok they don't eat enough , but they still eat something .

      1. Code Monkey


        Aka fishocrites

        1. BoldMan

          I know someone who is a chkckenfishanerian, will they be catered for?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You need the "vegan level" field

      You need a field for "vegan level":

      level 0: I don't even chew my own fingernails.

      level 1: I don't eat cute animals.

      level 2: I don't eat ugly animals.

      level 3: I don't eat anything with a face.

      level 4: I don't eat anything with a body.

      level 5: I don't eat anything with a shadow.

      "Of course we serve vegetarians: what do you think cows are?" - sign in a restaurant in Jackson, Wy.

    5. nyelvmark


      Since "omnivore" (from Latin: omni all, everything; vorare to devour)* seems to mean "eats everything", I'm at a loss to guess what Glaswegians eat that omnivores don't. Even deep-fried Mars bars and haggis seem to fall into the "everything" category.

      Although, come to think of it, perhaps I'd rather not know.

      *source: Wikipedia

      1. Richard Pennington 1


        Says it all, really.

    6. Maty

      Omnivore ...?

      Given that this is a dating website, some clarification might be needed here.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Does this mean that I can complain that Sex in the UK did not get me sex, and Girls Date for Free is discriminatory?

  17. nyelvmark

    My date isn't a veggie

    Given that this is the internet, if your date is the gender that you expect, that's a win.

    1. Maty

      ... and if its the species you expect, you'll call it a draw?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd prefer a site that let me know if a prospective date enjoyed eating meat...

  19. martin 62

    i got a feeling......

    somone is telling pork....ies

  20. earl grey
    Paris Hilton

    that no one has posted the obligitory Paris remark...

  21. stupormundi


    I've been variously told that I'm not a vegetarian although I frequently eat plants with my steak.

    Dunno, should I eat MORE plants ?? I already eat a lot of them.

    1. nyelvmark

      They're right...

      You're not a real vegetarian unless you talk to your plants, and presumably apologise before eating them alive or boiling them to death (e.g. potatoes).

  22. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    There are a whole bunch of similar sites...

    ... on Failbook offering dates according to whatever "targetted" information it can dredge out of your personal preferences.

    Like Salsa Dancing? Join Salsa Dance Dating!

    Like Real Ale? Join Real Ale Drinking Girls!

    Like Computers? Too bad, sunshine!

    Of course you have to pay to join and there's no guarantee that they'll actually find someone in your town/ country/ continent who's interested in the same thing...

  23. roninfla0

    Ooops, I thought it said vagitarian........

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, I for one would love a date who would gobble my meat.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obligatory iFan joke...

    Hope the ASA takes up my case, Apple clearly advertised using the iPhone 4 to make calls!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    database fields.

    You're all making the mistake of assuming that the person's attributes are stored in a thing-per-field basis. An alternative is to wrap up all that stuff into a single serialized field called "attributes" or something. It's an approach taken by a well-known wordpress plugin, and yes, it makes it essentially impossible to do a sensible search for "products that weigh more than 2 kilos" or similar.

  27. AlgernonFlowers4
    Paris Hilton

    Deadeye Dick!

    Sing along now - "She don't eat meat but she sure like the bone"

  28. Dug Stokes

    All these people claiming that it's so easy to add in this filter in the SQL are right - but missing the point.

    That'd severely decrease the number of profiles on the site; less profiles, so it's less popular, meaning less people will visit or come back.

    This is no different from 'dating sites' which steal profiles/pictures from other sites, often with fake info. A quick google for "Dating site stole my picture" (without quotes) reveals this happens a lot. I'm sure all these companies claim these are real users stealing others' info; I think we can all safely assume this isn't always the case.

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