Where Do You Get Your Protein?

Ah, there it is. The standard question you’ll eventually hear from anyone learning of your unfathomable decision to eat a more plant-based diet. They’ve been “informed” that we all must have meat to survive. Years of exposure to the ever-changing-but-meat-consistent nutrition pyramid has made it a certainty for them that passing up that cheeseburger will lead to fatigue, a pronounced limp, and early death.

Honestly, I think they’d have fewer questions if I said I was planning to exist on the power of the sun. No really. Such a group exists, with the clever name of Breatharians. They aren’t worried about protein, B12, or frankly even calories. When these folks say, “Just breathe” they mean it.  

But back to protein. No matter that most Americans get twice the protein their bodies actually need. You’d think they’d be asking us how they too can limit the unhealthy amount of fat drenched proteins they typically consume. As they proceed through their arguments about why I should reconsider my position, my mind gently drifts, musing over things I’d like to say should they take a breath.

  • I’ve made it my own personal environmental mission to live completely off of roadkill.
  • I’ve found that a well-constructed Mojito alleviates the need for protein.
  • These new hybrid lentils are a game changer.  A single lentil, correctly cooked, can carry you for 3 months.
  • I no longer need protein. I had my DNA altered to live entirely on watercress & chewing tobacco.
  • I’m learning to live on my own protein. It’s called a diet.
  • My last colonoscopy found meat I’d eaten in 1973. I think I’m good for a while.

As much as these crusty comebacks might be more fun to say, I know that grace is the order of the day. After all, many of us were also once oblivious carnivores. Knowledge comes for all of us in bits and pieces.  It behooves us to be patient as folks work out their path in life. Be kind. Be generous. Plant seeds. So, put a smile on your face and answer them as though they’ve provided the most fascinating and original question you’ve heard all week.

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