Good day,
As the old adage says, “If I had a nickel for every time I heard…. But, where do you get your protein?”, I think that I might be a semi rich lady right now.

I say semi rich instead of stinking rich only because I have been getting that question just since I became vegan. In the grand scheme of things, it is really not all that long. But it seems like it, and boy, did I get tired of that question.

And I will tell you why. I did not know the answer to said question. I simply did not have enough info and I, like many of you, believed what the “experts”, the dairy, milk, fish and meat boards as well as the media are telling us about these very needs. I found myself defending my protein intake.
I decided that it was time to find out what the best sources of plant protein are.  I did my due diligence and  came up with a list of all the regulars like legumes, tofu, nuts and seeds including some of the more surprising suspects, such as broccoli and spinach. I would bring out this list every time I got “the question”.
I must say that I always enjoyed the raised eyebrows when I would mention the last two items on my list. I could tell, that, for the most part, my conversation partner (partners) was (were), quite simply put, not buying it.
My understanding of protein changed when I listened to a Colleen Patrick-Goudreault podcast entitled, The Protein Myth and Vegetarianism. Now if I used euphemisms about nonhuman animals, I might say that, “This is when the blinders came off”. Since I endeavour not to do that anymore, I will say instead, “This is when the light went on”.
Colleen states very clearly in her podcast that humans require only 5-6 percent of their daily calories from protein. The American Dietetic Association puts this percentage closer to ten to eleven percent in order to ensure that people consume the required amount. I am not sure why they do this. What I do know is that  like Americans, we live in a country of excess. Protein deficiency is unheard of in North America.
And as Dr. John McDougall states, flesh and secretions are  the wrong kind ofprotein. They are full of saturated fat. They are second hand proteins (the nonhuman animals get their protein from the plants they eat) and as such, are filled with toxins. Several medical studies have proven that the farther up the food chain we go, the more toxins will be present in what we eat.
In addition, we have no nutritional need for it. Dr. McDougall states that we are Starchivores (herbivores who eat a lot of starchy vegetables) and that not following a plant based diet leads to all manner of modern disease.
 I am happy to say that the lecture I listened to began with a shout out to all the nonhuman animals and their forced sacrifice in order for us to sustain this unnecessary  human animal habit.
Dr. McDougall says that when medical studies come out, we as humans are more than happy to interpret these studies in a way that supports our bad  habit of eating and drinking nonhuman animal flesh. He says that the medical studies themselves may be skewed in favour of supporting this food choice. It is important to note that many of these studies are funded by entities that have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo in our culture of eating.
So, since the light went on for me, I no longer worry about where I get my protein and I no longer dread the protein question when it comes up, which it often does. I tell people that this is an interesting concern and that I have learned that we need only five percent of our daily calories to come from protein.
 If they ask how I know this, I point them in the direction of two of my  main sources, mentioned above. I tell them that I eat a varied plant diet which contains all the protein that I need. I do not use the list anymore.
These are some of the interesting facts I learned about protein:
1)      Plantsare made up of, in varying amounts, fats, carbohydrates and yes, wait for it,Protein.
2)      Nonhuman and human herbivorous animals fill all of their protein needs through the plants that they eat.
3)      Some of the largest nonhuman animals on this earth are herbivorous. Check out the giraffe and the elephant, for instance.
4)      Cow’s milk has four times more protein than human milk does. It is designed to feed their young who grow at a much faster rate than we do. So how could we possibly think that it is good for us?
5)      Calcium needs are met by eating a whole food, plant based diet.
6)      VitaminC is found only in plants.
7)      Nonhuman animals in the farming industry are fed GMO foods containing  toxins (excess insecticide and pesticide) in amounts greater than is assumed safe for humans to eat. They are also fed foods that they would not normally eat in nature. Cows are being fed ground up fish and as well as some other nonhuman animals, may be fed the ground up remains of their babies.
8)      Consumption of nonhuman animal flesh and secretions (especially in the amount that North Americans consume them) is known to cause heart disease, obesity, arthritis, cancer,osteoporosis, gout, hypertension, to name just a few.
9)     On the bright side, many of these self inflicted diseases are reversible if one switches to a whole food, plant based diet. For more info about this please check out Dr. Joel Furhman in addition to Dr. John McDougall and Colleen Patrick-Goudreault.
Are we being sold a bill of goods?-most definitely! Are we willing participants?-most definitely! What can we do about it?-question the status quo and get informed! It is our best defence in living a healthy life filled with compassion and integrity.
Until next time,
May all beings be happy and free!


  • September 7, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Hi Anne
    Enjoyed reading this and I will look up the work of Dr Joel Furham and Dr John McDougall as well as Colleen Patrick-Goodreault. They all sound like amazing resources. Thank you so much for sharing them with us. I can also relate to the “protein question” . As a fairly new vegan since April 2016 I am constantly asked this question from friends and family.

    Thanks Anne!
    Rachel Weightman

    • September 8, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      Hi Rachel,
      Ah yes, the protein question. i don’t get that so much any more, but am pleased that I am now better equipped to provide the facts.
      There are many wonderful resources out there and I am continually working to upgrade my knowledge in order to better advocate.
      Glad that you enjoyed reading this article.
      Take care. Anne


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