If you talk to a non-vegan about a vegan diet, you’re almost certain to hear this one word come up: Protein. From a young age, we’re taught that protein comes from meat, not plants. Because of this, many people see a lack of protein as a reason not to go vegan. The truth is that plants can provide more than enough protein for your body as long as you know where to look.
Sources of Vegan Protein
Every fruit and vegetable (Even lettuce!) contain some amount of protein. Some sources of plant, like black beans and soybeans, contain more protein per serving than beef! The trick to veganism is to explore what your options are and find what works best for you. With a little bit more effort, you can turn any meal vegan by modifying the animal-based ingredients.
Vegan protein is cleaner
If you’re new to veganism, it might be weird for you to think of meat as unhealthy. After all, most nutrition models (Like the food pyramid) show meat as an essential part of our diet. While meat does contain essential nutrients, it’s also full of fat and cholesterol, which is linked to cancer and heart disease. A vegan diet can provide you with all your daily nutrient requirements and cut out things that are harmful.
The Rise of Plant-Based Meats
For the past several years, plant-based meats have been on the rise. Today, many big-name restaurants (Like Burger King & the “Impossible Burger”) and grocery stores will carry a variety of plant based meats. Everything from burgers to sausage to bacon has a good plant alternative. These faux meats are usually made from soybeans, so they will contain the same amount of protein as real meat. While the texture is different from real meat, most plant-based meats are seasoned well enough to taste like the real thing!
The Cost of Real Meat
In general, most people don’t randomly decide to go vegan. Instead, they see the impact of mass-produced meat and make the decision that they do not want to support that. Because factory farms are driven by profit, they do not care for the well-being of their animals.
If you have not seen the inside of these factory farms, they are available on YouTube (These videos are VERY disturbing). With so many better alternatives to meat, it is simply cruel to put animals through this torture.
Factory farms are also terrible for the environment. According to Dosomething.org, factory farms produce 37% of all methane gas, which is twenty times more harmful than CO2. Factory farms also waste exponentially more water than plants do, which has lead to droughts in areas like California.
Vegans Do Not Worry About Protein
What this boils down to is the fact that a vegan diet can provide 100% of a person’s daily nutritional requirements, including protein. A vegan diet can be one of the healthiest ways to live, as fruits and vegetables are filled with nutrients. The idea that vegans lack protein has been around for too long, especially for a myth that is just plain wrong. If you’ve been holding off starting a vegan diet because you were concerned about protein, then now is the time to start!