shit omnivores say: the P word

Ill-informed omnivore: “Ooooh! Being a vegan is so unhealthy, you won’t get enough protein. Where do you get your protein from?”

Well-read vegan: “Do you know what protein actually is? Do you know why we need it? Do you know how much you really need?


Fancy that.

* Note, there are many variations of this conversation… what’s your favorite?

8 Comments on “shit omnivores say: the P word

  1. So, what is protein?

    How much do I, a 5’4″ thin female, actually need?

    How much does my 6’4″ boyfriend who struggles to keep weight on and would love to be able to put on some muscle need? I would love to be able to recommend some sources to him that aren’t meat and don’t contain soy. Could you help?

    • Great questions! I’m not a nutritionist so this is unqualified but here’s what I have picked up from a lot of research…
      ‘Protein’ is made up of many different types of amino acids. There is a wive’s tale out there that says we should eat foods that contain ‘complete proteins’ (i.e. all the amino acids) together (which happens in animal products), however research suggests that this is incorrect – that you can eat many foods with different types of amino acids, and that you actually don’t even need to eat them all in the same day. You can get all the amino acids you need through whole raw foods, and you don’t need as much ‘protein’ as people think (and advocate for).

      The best summary I have read was in The 80/10/10 Diet – check it out, it provides a lot of info in a logical format. There are also a lot of (raw) vegan body builders / athletes out there who have books that might help your boy too :)

  2. nothing on earth bothers me more than this. I get it constantly and I really don’t understand how the meat and dairy industries have people so trained. Yes nuts and seeds are great protein sources, but so are veggies and greens! most people don’t eat many greens a day….eat as much as most raw vegans do and you’ll be getting far more than the protein you need….you can search your needs online, just google something like protein needs calculator. But really, I’m a small person and I don’t eat a ton and I logged what i ate for a few days and found my protein intake were more than sufficient without even thinking about it.

  3. I am curious about B12. From what I’ve seen B12 comes from animal products, but I was wondering if there are any other sources of B12 you know of. I’ve been wanting to cut out chicken and turkey from my diet but because my B12 is low I am wanting to find other sources before I do that.

    • jordynn- most people have low b-12 because its hard to get from vegetables or animal products. it is primarily found in fish like salmon and sea vegetables. I would recommend taking a supplement or eating more seaweed, which is delicious by the way.

    • Hey ladies! I’m yet to find any concrete evidence that vegan sources contain enough B12 to maintain ‘normal’ levels… would love to see it if you have though!

      I was really, really low back in March, and while there seems to be debate as to what ‘low’ really is, I was getting the side effects before I even knew what B12 was, then when I read the symptoms online in one place, I knew I had issues!

      Shots were the only way for me to get get back to a reasonable level (required daily shots for a week!), and now I get them monthly to maintain – I hate the sublingual tabs you need to take daily to get the best impact, and a good nurse won’t hurt you (I get mine in the hip rather than the arm and find it painless).

      Talk to your GP, so long as they appreciate a vegan diet and want to help you with it!

  4. According the the World Health Organization, the average 150 lb male requires only 22.5 grams of protein daily based on a 2,000 calorie diet. That is SO easy to get on a plant-based diet, it’s ridiculous. I make an afternoon snack with black beans, avocado, corn, tomatoes and spinach on a bagel, and that adds up to 23 grams of protein by itself. Also, check out my post about how all the nutrients found in meat can be found in a plant-based diet.

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