I am vegan. My husband is vegan. About half our friends are vegan. I am 32 years old and I have not keeled over yet. In addition, my cholesterol has not gone above 160, I have not had my bones break off one by one (as you threatened they would when I gave up milk four years ago), and I have definitely not suffered from protein deficiency.
Which in fact raises my question to you: have you ever seen anyone suffer from protein deficiency, outside of medical journals reporting on starving children in Africa? Cause I have a news flash for you:
this is America. We eat on average 160 grams of protein a day. The recommended dosage? About 50 grams a day. Which explains a lot. A fuck load, in fact. Have you read Dr. T. Colin Campbell's seminal work, The China Study? Cause you know what, I did. And I'm not even a doctor. So what are you doing sitting around not reading it?
In said book (plus several others) you'll find the real history of our protein obsession: two egomaniacal white-supremacist 19th-century buffoons practicing pure quackery at astounding prices and throwing in sexual politics for good measure.
When you snap out of it and join the world of the living, you'll find that every single food group contains protein. Obviously, some higher than others, like beans. But in the end, as long as you don't eat, say, 50 lbs. of eggplant as your only dish all day every day, you're gonna find that it evens out. A couple of almonds here, some kale and swiss chard there, cup of beans, some brown rice and maybe a banana with honey for dessert ought to do the trick. And voila, you'll get your protein fill without putting yourself at risk for death by heart attack (or something worse) at the ripe old age of 28.
So the next time I'm in your office for a recommended yearly check-up (which I take very seriously, thank you), when I mention I'm vegan and you ask me if I'm getting enough protein, I will point you to this letter if I don't accidentally slap you first (my mood depending). And when you ask for extra tests on my blood work because I'm vegan, it needs must be asked why you're not performing those extra tests for meat-eaters. Because when was the last time you saw your precious burger-ingesting children chow down
on piles of spinach and sweet potatoes (rich in calcium, beta-carotene and the recent catch-word antioxidants)? And if you seriously think dead cow flesh is going to contain adequate levels of necessary vitamins, minerals and cancer-fighting antioxidants, you need to rethink the process. Think hard.
I will from now on only be taking questions regarding my protein when you walk the walk you've been talking. Yes, doc, I want to see you shoveling fistfuls of kale and quinoa. Because it's your job. Till then,
have you checked your protein counts lately? Cause frankly, I'm concerned.
Viviana Leo, et. al.