If you’ve been vegan for more than ten minutes, then no doubt you’ve been asked, “Where do you get your protein?”
Once you learn some basic facts, this question seems silly.
Facts About Protein
- We don’t need a lot of it. Only one in 10 calories we take in needs to come from protein.
- Most foods, including fruits and veggies, contain protein in varying degrees.
- Vegans average 10-12 percent of calories from protein, an ideal amount.
- Most Americans get way too much protein!
- Too much protein is not good for you. Your liver and kidneys may become overburdened and you will start leaching calcium from your bones to get rid of the excess.
- Plant proteins are as complete as they can be. It is a myth that plant proteins are inferior and that vegans need to be careful about combining foods to get complete protein. For more info, click here.
- Many animals, including large animals like elephants and hippos, live strictly on plants. No one ever questions them about where they get their protein.
If these are the facts, then how come people are so concerned about protein?
I don’t know all the factors, but I do know that meat and dairy companies have a lot to do with it. They spend billions of dollars to make us believe that animal protein is necessary and superior to plant protein.
And these companies are skilled at brainwashing. They’ve bombarded us with their message from the time we were young by providing US schools with colorful nutrition charts that emphasized meat, dairy products and eggs.
I still remember the catchy phrase, four, four, three, two – the magic clue, I learned in grammar school. It was used to educate me that a “healthful diet” consisted of four breads and cereals, four of fruits and veggies, three dairy and two meat servings each day.
Most of us buy into meat mythology by the time we’re adults, and then the message continues to be reinforced by successful ad campaigns like “Milk does a body good” and “Beef – it’s what’s for dinner.”
I’m looking forward to reading Meatonomics when it comes out in September, because I want to learn more about how the meat and dairy industries have deceived us and what I can do to stop them.
I’m sure that other factors contribute protein paranoia. If you know of any – I’d love to hear them.
Comic courtesy of Vegan Mamas.