Vegetarianism: Where D’You Get Your Protein?

Photo from the talented Krisztian Hoffer,

Where D’you Get Your Protein?’

Hi there, readers. My name is Emily, and I’m a vegetarian.

Well, let me be honest. I was vegetarian for many, many years growing up, and then I fell off the wagon. Why? Because bacon is delicious. It really, truly is. Anybody who tells you a thick slice of tempeh is ‘better’ than bacon is either a liar or has no good remembrance of what bacon tastes like. Bacon is the taste of angels playing saxaphone. It’s the taste of soft-focus eighties love scenes on a white bearskin rug. It is. OMFG. Awesome.

But we’re back on the wagon now, and my friends have questions for me. Okay–a lot of them have the same question.

I’m not going to go into my reasoning for re-vegging here–you have some other vegetarian friend who’s given it to you already, at length, probably with a beer or bottle of whiskey balanced on one knee.

So don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those ‘vegetarian lifestyle’ posts. I don’t think there IS a damned lifestyle, and I get very tired of people who try to tell me there is. Just because you don’t eat meat doesn’t mean you’ve earned a street festival and a pride float, or have the right to attempt changing the dietary decisions of your friends and family. Bacon is, after all, delicious. And some people want the delicious.

So don’t worry about all that. I’m posting this vegetarian-themed blog for a single reason–a surprisingly scientific reason.

If one more person asks me ‘where I’m going to get my protein’, I am going to scientifically murder a busload of babies.

I don’t know how the complete myth that meat is the only food-substance containing protein has continued on into the modern age. Not when we have nutrition labels on everything, Google at our fingertips.

Grains and legumes have a TON of protein. So does dairy, obviously.

And here’s the thing–your daily protein requirement? Not that tough to meat. (Like that pun, eh? Eh? EH?)

A woman requires 46g of protein a day, a man 56. Let’s examine foods with protein in them for a second, shall we? Let’s start with my sad little work lunch.

I had, for lunch, a TastyBite serving of Jaipur Vegetables and a greek yogurt. I scarfed down a bagel for breakfast on my way to work. Go on, whine about processed foods and not-enough-veggies for a while. I’ll just smile blandly and turn a deaf ear.

Done? Okay. Here’s my daily protein count so far.

Bagel with cream cheese: 13ishg protein
TastyBite Jaipur Veggies–14g protein
Muller Lowfat Greek Yoghurt With Candied Almonds–13g protein

Woah! It’s only lunch time, and I’ve already had forty fucking grams of protein. Incredible, no? Without eating any meat. And, most importantly–without even thinking about it, until I started typing this.

And I WILL have some ice cream for dessert. Not sure what’s for dinner, but there WILL be ice cream for dessert. The 46g requirement will be reached.

So, hmm. How to put this.

Thank you for your concern about my protein intake. Even though I’ve NEVER heard you mention protein in conversation before, OR concern about how much of it people in general eat. Even though you couldn’t name five non-meat foods that contain protein. Thanks.

If you really cared about the health of my tubby little self, you might want to ask thoseΒ  what’re-you-eating questions about calories and fat. Trust me, THAT total for today’s food isn’t nearly as pretty. Jaipur vegetables, apparently, don’t come ‘skinny’. Ice cream does, but I prefer ice cream that doesn’t taste like country-fried ass.

(On a writerly sidenote: does anyone else grind their teeth to near-combustion every time someone refers to a low-fat food as ‘skinny’? No, that food IS NOT SKINNY. Not unless it’s spaghetti, or julienned carrots, or something else very narrow. What that food is, in fact, is ‘low fat’ or ‘low calorie’. Stop it, incorrect euphemisms. STOP IT.)

Anyway, sorry for taking up y’all’s time. I’m posting this mostly so I can print up some nice little cards with the URL for this post on them and hand them out to the next fifty people who feel the need to ask me this question.

Here’s a link, if you were curious, about twelve non-meat sources of protein, and wow, most of them are just as good as a goddamn steak. Sure, the author confuses ‘whooping’ and ‘whopping’, but not everyone’s a twitchy grammarian with a hair-trigger temper, and many good points are made.



7 thoughts on “Vegetarianism: Where D’You Get Your Protein?

  1. Great post on protein.. I am vegan and I hate that question!! haha…as for Bacon though… I never really cared for it! maybe cause I had pet Pigs when I was younger, so i stayed away from it in general.. just started following you, I have a vegan recipe/lifestyle & Cruelty-free beauty Blog as well,
    so glad I found your blog & Happy to connect with you πŸ™‚

    1. I think people assume you need a loooooot more protein than you actually need. Witness this being the first question pretty much any vegan/vegetarian gets asked, when revealing eating habits becomes necessary–interestingly enough, people ask me why I made that choice a lot less than they ask me where my protein comes from.

      Nice to meet you. πŸ™‚ I feel I should warn you, though–for the most part, this is a writing blog, and I only post recipes/food stuff occasionally. I’ll happily check out yours, though!

      1. I love writing logs πŸ™‚ there is only s many recipes I can handle in a day.. haha.. I vent sometimes on my blog too.. so, nice to meet you πŸ™‚

  2. Of course, it’s not just the amount of protein, it’s the quality and digestibility of the protein, too. Animal products tend to have most of the nine essential amino acids in each bite, whereas plant sources tend to have a low value and only one or two of the nine. Hence the need to eat a wider variety of plant protein sources.

    I recall an old Science Diet dog food leaflet from years ago. The heading read, “Old shoes.” There was a line drawing of an old boot. The pamphlet made the point that while a leather shoe has high protein, it’s virtually indigestible for the dog. Naturally, they touted the high-quality protein in their product compared to their competitors.

    Blood is another one that has high protein but low digestibility. Since it’s all vampires eat, it makes you wonder whether they have issues getting enough quality protein to support their no-longer-human bodies. Ah, there’s one of those off-the-wall daily living things that writers skip over when they make up fantasy characters. What exactly DO vampires take when they have an upset stomach?

    Just finished The King’s Might last night. Wow! Well done! Loved how you brought it all home in the epilogue.


    1. You’re right, eating complete proteins is important! However, there are plenty of complete proteins available in a non-meat diet–dairy being the primary thing (if you still do dairy). Soy is also a complete protein, as are some grains, such as quinoa, amaranth, or chia. There’re a lot more than this, I’m just stuck with a slow connection and can’t even check google at the mo. Lesigh. Hopefully I can get this to post.

      I imagine vampires are safe from protein deficiency, as somewhere in the vampire modality magic has evidently taken practice over biology. πŸ˜› I HAVE always wondered stuff like that with the ‘scientific’ vampire stories out there, though.

      Glad you liked TKM. πŸ™‚

    1. Well, mine usually come from the flaming hellgardens of Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies. They’re raised in 100% organic suffering of the unrighteous, and watered with 100% organic tears.

      A lot of people, who don’t have the sort of high-class access to Satan’s Gardeners I’ve received, probably still get them from salads. This is wrong. Suffering is good for you. Suffering boosts beta carotene levels.

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