Being a staunch vegan advocate for the last 30+ years, I’ve had thousands of people asking me, “Where do you get your protein from?”
I’m tired of the question, but I must show compassion and keep in mind that most people don’t understand where protein comes from, where it’s most abundant and what is the superior source for it.
Protein for human consumption comes from plants—it’s just that simple. Even carnivorous animals get their protein from plants via eating other animals that eat plants. That said, the argument that humans can’t get enough protein from plant sources is hogwash. However, since that explanation won’t suffice for most people, maybe a different perspective could satiate their desire for the truth.
If you take a nice juicy steak, about 33% of its calories are derived from protein, 67% from fat, and 0% from fat. Comparing that to raw spinach, about 30% of its calories are derived from protein, 56% from carbs and 14% from fat. (This information you can get derive from the caloric ratio pyramids on http://www.nutritiondata.self.com.)
The percentage of calories from protein are close to equal as you can see. However, when consuming vegetables that contain carbohydrates (which all veggies do), all of the calories from the carbohydrates are not bioavailable (accessible to the body).
Some pass through the body for the gut bacteria to consume, which means less calories are from carbs. Since less is bioavailable from carbs, a greater percentage of bioavailable calories are from protein and fat, pushing those percentages higher. Therefore, percentage-wise, spinach could have a greater percentage of calories from protein than steak!
But there are greater advantages to getting your calories from spinach than steak.
First, we can cut down on zoonotic diseases from animals, like the coronavirus and E.coli. Second, you get fiber from plants and none from animal sources. Third, plants have phytochemicals that are necessary for life while animal sources do not. Fourth, plant sources do not have bad cholesterol and saturated fat like animal sources do, which promote heart disease. Fifth, you don’t have to worry about excessive growth hormones from plants, such as IGF-1 found in animal sources.
By the way, this list goes on and on. But, the bottom line is that plant sources of protein promote total health over the long term, while animal protein promotes chronic diseases. There’s no getting around that reality.