Do omnivores ask how you get your protein? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-01-2018, 08:15 AM
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Do omnivores ask how you get your protein?

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While answering questions about your dietary needs or lifestyle can be an excellent chance to educate others, sometimes it feels unfair to bear the burden of the extra emotional labor of answering questions that could easily be Googled. While it’s usually possible to provide succinct and polite answers to well-intended questions, sometimes you need a snappy comeback for those more critical of your life. How Do You Get your Protein?
Do omnivores ask how you get your protein?

How do you respond?
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#2 Old 06-01-2018, 09:15 AM
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Not so much anymore. It used to be sort of annoying. but either it because my veganism doesn't come up that often when meeting new people, and all the "old people" have already got tired of talking to me about it.

Collen Patrick Goudreau discussed this topic in several of her essays. The thing that stuck with me is that it might be annoying to you to keep getting asked this. But the person asking you this - it's probably their first time. So they deserve a good answer. its up to us vegans to give them the best and nicest answer possible.

I like to tell them that most non-vegans overestimate their protein needs. It's not as high as you have been led to believe. And almost all plants contain protein. And its complete, high quality, and easily absorbed. Since I'm in decent shape I can just use myself as a walking talking testimonial.

if you need a quick and short answer, I like, "I get my protein from plants. The same place your protein gets its protein from".
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#3 Old 06-01-2018, 03:05 PM
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I really never encounter that question!
I do get asked about calcium, and sometimes iron

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#4 Old 06-01-2018, 05:44 PM
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I really never encounter that question!
I do get asked about calcium, and sometimes iron
I had it happen once when I first went vegetarian, and never again. I also hear calcium a lot, though.

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#5 Old 06-01-2018, 07:20 PM
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I get asked about it all, and after nearly 30 years of it, I'm at the point where I often don't want to answer. (A cousin with two master's degrees and a J.D. once told me she had a protein deficiency so she could never be vegetarian. ::sigh:: )
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#6 Old 06-01-2018, 07:41 PM
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i'm often asked this question... about calcium too! just need to educate non vegetarian / vegan people that protein is not just found in meat!
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#7 Old 06-02-2018, 02:40 AM
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I heard a variation on this one the other day...someone said theyre a bodybuilder so cant be vegan as need a lot protein.

I know theres some notable semi-famous vegan bodybuilders but I had to concede to this person that yes for a body builder who wants that "big, ripped" look tuna/chicken etc are probably the go, unless youre gonna add a lot of protein shakes to your diet. Nuts are great for protein but have high fat so are very calorie dense, which is bad if you're trying to be low body fat percentage. A vegan bodybuilder would be at a disadvantage. None of this is black and white as we all know some people are just natural mesomorphs, so muscles are more easily gained for them.

Now for me that was no great concession as I have no desire to look a bodybuilder. And Im about having a clear conscience.
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#8 Old 06-02-2018, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by APhilosophicalGent View Post
I heard a variation on this one the other day...someone said theyre a bodybuilder so cant be vegan as need a lot protein.

I know theres some notable semi-famous vegan bodybuilders but I had to concede to this person that yes for a body builder who wants that "big, ripped" look tuna/chicken etc are probably the go, unless youre gonna add a lot of protein shakes to your diet. Nuts are great for protein but have high fat so are very calorie dense, which is bad if you're trying to be low body fat percentage. A vegan bodybuilder would be at a disadvantage. None of this is black and white as we all know some people are just natural mesomorphs, so muscles are more easily gained for them.

Now for me that was no great concession as I have no desire to look a bodybuilder. And Im about having a clear conscience.
Going vegan is even suitable for bodybuilders. Not that it's going to be worthwhile to try and convince one but several important things to know is

there are vegan bodybuilders, professional football players, baseball players and ice skaters.

Most bodybuilders overestimate the amount of protein they require. Some have died of kidney failure

Vegans can usually (without supplements) get their protein intake to equal 20% of their calories. With exercise, their caloric requirements go up so their protein intake naturally increases, too.
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#9 Old 06-02-2018, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by VeggieBoards View Post
Do omnivores ask how you get your protein?

How do you respond?
Yep. And then I bite them, saying: "That's how! YUM!!!"

JUST KIDDING. Thinking about this... people don't ask me about how I get certain nutrients, but they sometimes do ask what I DO eat... which is understandable, since for quite a few people, their diet is often centered around meat, with other foods being seen as basically "side dishes"- not the sort of things you'd want to subsist on. On top of this, I also avoid dairy and egg, although I'm not fully vegan... so yeah- most people see my food options as being limited.

I try to give them an informative, but short-and-sweet, answer. I generally assume they don't want to hear some sort of long drawn-out list, so I usually say something like: "Grains and legumes provide most of the calories and protein I would have gotten from animal foods, and I do like pretty much all vegetables and fruits". Vitamin B-12 is really more of a potential problem for someone who eats the way I do, and I often mention I take a supplement for that. Sometimes we get into a deeper discussion, and I might explain I take calcium or vitamin D occasionally. But I might also mention that with the cardiovascular disease in my family, my low intake of saturated fats has been a plus!
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