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I ask myself this question every time a new vegan cookbook comes out: Do I really need another cookbook? I think I might simply have a cookbook addiction; Lord knows I myself am an horrible inexperienced cook. Why do I need all these cookbooks?!

As it turns out, I’m not the only person with a cookbook addiction. My buddy Kristin over at The High Impact Vegan feels the same way–if there’s a new cookbook, it’s almost like we gotta have it! Why do many of us in the vegan community feel this way. As I gave it a little more thought, I realized there’s actually a little more to this cookbook frenzy than meets the eye.

Here are my five unscientific, totally biased, but absolutely fair assessments on why it’s important to purchase vegan cookbooks.

1. Support. According to a blog post I read by Lindsay Nixon of The Happy Herbivore, most vegan cookbook authors only reap about $1 from cookbook sales. That seems pretty measly to me after all their hard work. Based on that alone, I’m happy to buy a cookbook if it supports the work of a vegan food blogger/chef/cook whom I admire.

2. Supply & Demand. By purchasing vegan cookbooks, we’re letting the publishing world know “Hey! We want this! We are a strong, vegan communitythat is here to stay (and growing) and we want to see more work like this.” If you think about it, vegan cookbooks probably represent a small segment of the whole cookbook publishing industry (that sounds like the official name right–“cookbook publishing industry”?) and we need to be a bigger, brighter light in the foodie world.

3. Education. Many vegan cookbooks supply educational content beyond the steps to create a recipe. For example, I recently bought Fran Costigan’s Vegan Chocolate book which talks extensively about why bakers should choose organic products and also about the importance of fair trade chocolate. I believe each cookbook has something new to learn; a mission they are trying to convey through their cookbooks, if you will.

4. Giving back. One time I paid for and downloaded a chocolate ebook (do you recognize a pattern here?) whose sales went towards helping an animal sanctuary. I think we can all agree that buying cookbooks with regularity would be a no-brainer if we knew the funds were going toward a good cause.

5. Tackling myths. No two cookbooks are the same. I have a cookbook for creating vegan cheese, one for low-fat baked goods, one for whole-foods/no-oil meals, another for slow cooking, and as I’ve already mentioned, I have my fair share of chocolate cookbooks. You get the idea–I have a lot of cookbooks. As you know, everyone always assumes vegan food is nothing more than bland tofu and boring vegetables. But I’m able to introduce my omnivore family and friends to a wide variety of vegan foods that aren’t boring, or don’t cost a lot of money, or don’t take a lot of time to prepare, or will give you your cheese fix. Basically, whatever excuse they throw at me, I can throw that excuse back in their faces (figuratively of course; I don’t throw my cookbooks in people’s faces, teehee).

I’m sure we could come up with more reasons to buy vegan cookbooks, other than we love doing it and trying new delicious vegan food. What do you guys think? If you’re like me and you continually buy vegan cookbooks, what is the driving force behind your purchases? I’m really curious so be sure to share your thoughts.

Thanks for reading, Happy New Year, and may there be vegan cookbooks galore in 2014!

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