Buying Cookbooks is Good Vegan Activism

I tweeted and facebook-status-updated this yesterday but I think it deserves a quick blog post, too.

I noticed that the best selling cookbook in America this week is The Pioneer Woman Cooks. In case you haven’t heard of her, The Pioneer Woman has a wildly popular blog sub-titled “Plowing Through Life in the Country…One Calf Nut at a Time.” She’s a city girl who met a rancher in a bar, married him and moved to Montana. It’s hard to figure out which blog posts are more annoying—those waxing poetic about the joys of throwing calves to the ground to brand and castrate them, or the adolescent ramblings about her husband, whom she calls “The Marlboro Man.”

Either way, she is not exactly a friend to animals. Apparently Ms. Pioneer was a vegetarian when she first met her husband-to-be. Asked recently why that was, she responded “I have no idea. I think it’s because I wanted to say I was a vegetarian.” It’s depressing that she is so popular.

But on a happier note, the beautiful new cookbook by vegan chef Tal Ronnen, The Conscious Cook, trails just a few steps behind Pioneer Woman at number 3 on the list. How great would it be to see that book become the best selling cookbook in America? How great would it be to see Ms. Pioneer knocked out of that number 1 spot?

I need another vegan cookbook like I need a meat thermometer, but I immediately ordered a copy of The Conscious Cook. It felt like a little tiny bit of great activism to do so. And of course, it was also a treat. Since amazon.com loves me dearly (I wonder why?), the book arrived in less than 24 hours. It’s gorgeous. It has photos, recipes from guest chefs, and wonderful menu ideas. It’s about divine cuisine that happens to also be ethical.

I’m buying this book for all the cooks on my Christmas list, vegan or not. I want them to have it but, more importantly, I want the number one cookbook on the New York Times bestseller list to be authored by someone who understands that compassion is a vital component of true “good cooking.” You should buy it, too.

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7 Responses to Buying Cookbooks is Good Vegan Activism

  1. Rhea Parsons Riker November 12, 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    My copy of The Conscious Cook is on the way. I would love to see a vegan book at #1 !!!

  2. Tracy H. November 13, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    Written by an online friend, here's an outstanding response to one of Tal's recipes:

    http://generationv.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-to-please-your-meat-loving-man.html

  3. Nikki November 13, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    “The Conscious Cook” gets two thumbs up from my French husband. After making Tal’s “Chicken” Scaloppini recipe from Oprah’s website, I had no choice but to order a copy of his book tout de suite! Sebastien said none of our meat eating friends would have known it wasn’t real chicken.

    From now on I’m calling my cookbook buying habit activism rather than an addiction. Thanks for that!

  4. Wife Off The Grid November 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    What a great idea! Like you I really don't need another vegan cookbook but I continue to buy them to support the cause!
    When I first discovered the blog called "Confessions of a Pioneer Woman" I read one of her posts about when one of her children accidentally got burned by the branding iron and the pain he felt and the anguish she felt as his parent. I can't understand why she wouldn't have some empathy for the poor calves who are burned ON PURPOSE or the mother cows who must feel the same anguish seeing and hearing their calves suffer!
    Even if they continue to raise beef cattle the least they could do is use a more humane way of identifying their cows!

  5. Paul November 17, 2009 at 10:54 am #

    Great idea. I'm giving my mother a copy of Tal Ronnen's new cookbook for the holidays this year.

  6. Ingrid December 5, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    Thanks for the tip… I'll order it now. And thanks for your blog. I discovered it today and will read it faithfully.

  7. Vegan Valerie December 14, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    Another great example of vegan activism! Thank you for expanding my thinking!

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