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.