A fabulous night out with a friend and her friends inevitably led to the question – “what do you do for protein?” (check the article on my website about protein foods http://thevegetariancenter.com/protein-foods-for-vegetarians.php).  Usual stock answer – “all I need is wheat toast and some peanut butter…” – bored, bored, bored with the question.

It wasn’t until later when I was tucked up in bed that I began to wonder why on earth meat eaters have such a fixation on what vegetarians and vegans have for protein.  I mean, I do know why, it’s usually because they are fascinated about what we actually eat and they fail to understand that our food is readily available, tasty and that they themselves could easily be having at least one meat free meal each week (as a lot do).

But it’s more than that.  When I was a meat eater I didn’t think to myself….”oh dear I haven’t had any meat today – I’m going to have to have some to get my protein…” and it’s the same now.  I don’t even think about what protein or calcium or vitamins or fiber or any other necessary things I need as I munch my way through the day.

Just as a meat eater doesn’t consciously go about planning the nutritional value of the foods he/she eats during any given day, neither do I.  It’s just a matter of a balanced diet, eating good food and making sure there is a good variety.  And, I must add here, a lot of it is asking myself the question – “what do I feel like eating?”

Next time I’m asked “what do you eat for protein” I think I’ll turn it back and ask “do you eat meat for the protein or just because it’s what you’re used to and you like it?” or maybe I might just say “I don’t know, I just know that I have all the nutrients including protein that my body needs every day.”

If anyone reading this has a good stock response to the inevitable meat eaters question – I’ll love to hear it.

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