This is actually the most common question that vegans get to hear because we’ve been groomed to think that animal products = protein. Well then think about some of the world’s strongest vegan animals (elephants and apes). Where do they get their protein from? From Plants! Nature provides us with plenty of protein in leafy greens, fruits, nuts, seeds and algae which is actually enough to satisfy our needs.
That brings us to the next question: How much protein do we actually need?
A fully grown adult doesn’t need that much protein to maintain his or her body. Only a certain percentage of our cells get damaged and need to be replaced, which is the main task of protein. Protein builds and maintains every tissue in our body. So the only people who require high amounts of proteins are growing kids and pregnant women. Otherwise our body recycles as much protein as possible and can even ingest small amounts. And we actually need only 10% of our daily calories from protein.
Plants provide all our necessary, daily protein needs – including all the essential amino acids – without the saturated fats and extra calories that are found in meat. In addition to that animal derived protein sources are very acidic to the human body.
Plants – especially greens – are very alkaline to the body and contain even more protein than meat. They satisfy even higher protein demands for pregnant women, athletes and people who are trying to gain lean muscle mass. Some of the highest natural protein providers are hemp seeds, sprouts and mineral rich greens. And the good news is that we can assimilate even more protein from raw foods than from cooked foods, so it’s not necessarily about how much protein we eat but rather about the quality of protein we eat.
And once a non-vegan asks you where you get your protein from, ask him/her where he/she gets all of his/her daily required vitamins and minerals just to raise awareness that it’s not all about protein!