When people find out you’re a vegetarian or vegan, they ask a lot of questions. Some of those questions are dumb:
Them: Why do you care more about animals than you do about starving babies?
You: I don’t. I care about both.
Them: Whaaaaat? *Brain explodes*
Or the one I get asked by my father:
Dad: I know you don’t eat meat, but you can still have chicken, right?
Then there are ones that seem less dumb, but are, as the New York Times points out, pretty stupid. At the top of that list: “Where do you get your protein?”.
The recommended intake for a healthy adult is 46 grams of protein a day for women and 56 grams for men. And while protein malnutrition is a problem for millions of people around the globe, for the average adult in developed countries, we are eating far more protein than we actually need.
Most American adults eat about 100 grams of protein per day, or roughly twice the recommended amount. Even on a vegan diet people can easily get 60 to 80 grams of protein throughout the day from foods like beans, legumes, nuts, broccoli and whole grains….
And few seem to be aware that there may be long-term risks of consuming too much protein, including a potential increased risk of kidney damage.