Plant vs Animal Protein: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Ever since I decided to transition to a plant-based lifestyle, everyone has made it a point to argue that I was making a drastic mistake. In fact, it was a shared consensus that I was making a life-threatening decision that would cause my health to rapidly plummet due to a lack of essential protein. Consequently, the food industry has pushed the narrative that protein can only be sourced from animals. It is a common misconception, that we as humans must sacrifice and consume animals for nourishment. This couldn’t be furthest from the truth. 

The Truth About Protein

Protein is made up of a combination of twenty amino acids, eight of which are referred to as essential as they come from the foods we eat. The remaining twelve amino acids are produced by the body. Unfortunately, most people tend to believe that it takes muscle protein to make protein. Free range farm animals get all of their essential vitamins, nutrients, and protein from plants i.e. grass. So when we consume animals we are getting protein through a middleman aka farm animal. In order get any nutritional value from the meat we must first cook it to disrupt decomposition, and kill any bacteria, virus, and/or parasites. In actuality, any remaining protein must compete with these elements to maintain any nutritional value. 

Relying on meat for protein is a crap shoot, as it is no guarantee that you will receive a nutritious amount. But when it comes to disrupting the consensus everyone is an expert. This is purely based on marketing and not scientific data. As consumers, we must resist jumping on the marketing bandwagon. We must question any and all health claims, and not take the messaging at face value. We must understand that not all food corporations have our best interest at heart. As soon as we understand this, we will be less apt to accept every narrative as true. At first, glance, researching these topics may present a challenge. However, the age of Google has made the process much easier.

Plant vs Animal Protein

Plants have been marketed as an inefficient protein source. Primarily due to the relatively small nature of plants in comparison to animals. Let’s take cattle. They are absolutely massive in size weighing upwards of a half ton. Superficially it would seem that sourcing protein from cattle would yield a more robust supply. But as the saying goes you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. When contemplating the viability of a plants ability to compete with animal protein, we must first reflect on nature. In the wild, there are numerous species that thrive as herbivores. Not only do they feast on plants, but they are also large with incredible strength. In fact, they are some of the strongest animals in the wild. These massive animals include; elephants, giraffes, cattle, buffalo, Rhinos, hogs, monkeys, baboons, and gorillas to name a few. 

Take Home

Before anyone attempts to defend animals as the superior protein source, they must first reflect on what naturally occurs in nature. Although we are not four-legged animals, the nutritional benefits that plants supply are just as beneficial to humans. When it comes to defending a plant-based stance, remember that you can state and present as much factual data as you wish. But the data will only be received if the person is open-minded. Dispelling ingrained data as false is a difficult pill to swallow. So don’t take it personally if someone refuses to accept the facts. Their refusal is a reflection of them and not you. Remember to not concern yourself with others opinions. Stay true to your beliefs and live your best life. After all, we are all responsible for our own health. 


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