The protein panic: where will vegans get their protein from?
One of the questions I've been asked is 'But where do you get your protein from?'Some of us are able to answer questions like this, others don't want to answer, and for some, they'd like something to help them give a response. Whichever category you fall into, it's worth reading what Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton have to say about vegans and protein.
But…Where do you get your protein from?
This and similar “Buts,” such as “But do you feel healthy without eating meat and dairy?” are part of our desperate but futile attempt to cling to the notion that we must continue to consume meat and other animal products or risk dying of malnutrition. That is, these “Buts” maintain that there really is some necessity involved in eating animals.
As mentioned earlier, mainstream medical authorities now recognize that a vegan diet is healthy. The extremely conservative Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly the American Dietetic Association, has stated:
It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.
While adequate protein intake is one of the most commonly used reasons to counter a vegan diet, numerous studies and reports over the years across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia have confirmed that a vegan diet provides ample protein. Additionally, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) explicitly maintains that a vegan diet is capable of providing adequate amounts of protein.
Let us be clear and concise: there is no credible evidence — none — that a vegan diet cannot supply the same quality of protein as that from animal sources. The bottom line is clear: “Plant foods have plenty of protein.”
Link to a book by Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton: An exploration and rejection of the various excuses — the “Buts” — that keep us eating animal foods.