If you struggle with the ethical issue of killing and eating animals, like I do, you have either become a vegetarian or are becoming one. I am on the cusp. I eat fish – only wild caught and wild harvested. Occasionally (maybe 10 times a year), I still eat poultry.
On average, 98% of the year, I am vegetarian, growing as much of my own food as I possibly can; buying the rest from local, organic farmers.
My choice opens me up for a lot of “advice” from well-intentioned people who love me and who think I simply don’t get enough protein. As one of them quipped, not so long ago, “I’ll buy you a walker when your muscles break down. You’re too old to cut out protein from your diet.”
The truth is, I haven’t cut out protein; I’ve just changed the source of my protein to foods that don’t cry, don’t make friends with each other, don’t lovingly care for their babies, don’t greet you in the field. Up until this morning, I didn’t really have an argument that supported my food choices.
Garden Rant and Evelyn Hadden have provided me with knowledge I need to defend my choice!
Turns out that foods I grow (like kale and beets), foods I love (like sunflower and pumpkin seeds and cheese) and foods I buy locally from my organic farmer friends are packed with protein!
FYI – I can’t quite get my arms around eating insects – one of the protein sources Hadden cites. But I’m on board with all the rest and grateful for a chance to eat without any compromises.
So if you are just thinking about changing some animal protein to plant, or if someone is telling you you have to eat meat to maintain your health, check out Hadden’s article and consider the options she offers.
Oh, also courtesy of EvelynHadden, if you want to find out just how much protein the foods you’re eating have, check out the protein content at the USDA National Nutrient Database.