The Pros and Cons of Getting Protein on a Vegan Diet

The Pros and Cons of Getting Protein on a Vegan Diet

Here’s the deal…

The average American thinks that he/she needs protein from animals in order to survive.

This idea/concept couldn’t be further from the truth.

And I’ll use the analogy of the race horse once again, because a horse is the perfect example of a sentient being and mammal that thrives on a Vegan Diet!

What do horses eat?

Grains, oats, fruit, grass, hay, corn.

All vegan foods.

A horse’s teeth are similar to humans. A lack of serious canine teeth found in other predatory animals like leopards, panthers, and lions.

We humans mainly have molars for grinding plant foods. And our intestines are very long, suitable for a plant-based diet.

Anyway, as I mentioned in previous posts, horses are strong, fast, beautiful creatures; and they’re vegan!

Veganism and Protein Needs

How Much Protein is in Plants?

“Plenty! Plant foods can provide all the essential amino acids. These nutrients are protein building blocks that cannot be made by your body.” —Protein | The Vegan Society

Getting Protein from Plants

The Pros

  • All plant foods have protein.
  • The plant protein is cleaner, meaning there are no potentially harmful byproducts such as uric acid, nitrates, saturated fat, and cholesterol typically found in abundance in animal foods, and can lead to heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
  • Protein-rich foods like Tofu, Tempeh, Beans and Legumes contain most of the essential amino acids necessary for protein building.
  • Food combining isn’t necessary at each meal, as long as complimentary foods are eaten throughout the week. Combinations of plant foods like rice and beans, tortillas and beans, hummus and pita bread will create complete protein sources for the body. It’s no wonder that these combinations of foods have developed in various countries as a standard combination that creates complete protein.
  • Because most plant foods have a lower amount of protein and amino acids than animal foods, you can eat more of them to obtain your daily protein needs. And you don’t have to feel guilty because most plant foods are low calorie and contain essential fiber, so you can eat more food.
  • Yes, fiber! Most plant foods in their natural whole foods state contain tons of fiber, which has been proven to be excellent for the digestive tract. Red meat and other animal foods contain zero fiber! Therefore, you do have to eat more plant foods to get the fiber. The problem is, many Americans like to eat a lot of animal foods and they don’t like plant foods with fiber.

The Cons

  • As a vegan, you are required to eat a much healthier diet to get all the nutrients, protein, etc. Vegans can also eat poorly, so a vegan needs to eat natural whole plant foods to get all the stuff your body needs in order to survive.
  • Vegans (as well as everyone else) need to eat a wide variety of plant foods in order to get enough protein and amino acids. As an extreme, a vegan who only eats potatoes and vegan gravy and nothing else will obviously be lacking in protein and nutrients. So, a wide variety of plant foods is essential.
  • Vegans might need to eat more in order to get enough protein, the opposite of the Standard American Diet where Americans are getting too much saturated fat, cholesterol, empty calories and too much salt and sugar, and many have to go on diets to lose weight.
  • For many Americans, going vegan will require a complete change in the way one eats, and a major shift to a plant-based diet, which might take quite some time to make this change and adjustment. A few can go vegan overnight, but most need to transition and take baby steps before becoming 100% vegan.
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Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and

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