Vegetarianism

Why We Should Have More Vegetarian Protein and Where Can We Get It

Tell someone that you are a vegetarian and it is quite likely that the first thing you will be asked is, “But where do you get your protein?” A vegan friend of mine used to say that she felt as though she spent a significant part of her life explaining vegetarian protein1 to people.

Consuming the right amount of protein is important but how does plant-based protein compare to proteins derived from meat?

Animal Protein vs. Vegetarian Protein

When digested, protein is broken down into amino acids which are required for most metabolic processes. The main difference between animal protein and vegetarian protein is the types of amino acids that they contain.

Animal proteins are regarded as “complete” since they contain all of the essential amino acids. Vegetarian protein are sometimes viewed as being “incomplete” as some may lack one or more amino acid.2

However, there are various plants that are “complete” such as hemp seeds, quinoa, chlorella, and bee pollen. Furthermore, it is easy to combine different plant foods to have complete protein in your meals.

What are the Health Benefits of Vegetarian Protein

The good news is that you do not necessarily have to be a vegetarian to benefit from a plant-based diet! You can simply incorporate more vegetarian meals into your lifestyle. In fact, according to the American Dietetic Association, “appropriately-planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” 3

These are 5 health benefits of vegetarian protein:

  • You will lower your intake of cholesterol and unhealthy saturated fat which will lower the chances of heart disease.4
  • Animal proteins have little to no fiber. A vegetarian meal provides a good source of fiber which will…

How to Eat Less Meat

There are about a million reasons why we should eat less meat, considering its effects on our own health as well as the environment. But most of us don’t want to go full-on vegetarian and quit cold turkey. That’s okay. That’s Brian Kateman’s message in his new book, The Reducetarian Solution.

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This Week’s Discussion

People adopt vegetarian and vegan diets for a lot of reasons. Some people are concerned primarily with animal welfare and the environment and others just want to eat a healthier diet. Most of us, the average omnivore, are aware of these benefits but don’t necessarily want to give up meat completely. Hey, life is short and I enjoy an occasional steak.

Brian Kateman understands this. He coined the term “reducetarian” with his friend Tyler Alterman to refer to people who are trying to cut the amount of meat in their diet for whatever reason, without the pressure of ever being a “lapsed” vegetarian. It’s not a controversial idea that we should all—particularly Americans—eat less meat. Factory farming produces significant carbon emissions, the conditions for the animals can be cruel, and of course, some people don’t want any animals to die…

Buddhist Monks in China Have Offset 40 Million Tons of Greenhouse Gases

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Tibetan Buddhist monks take part in a special prayer during Monlam or the Great Prayer rituals at the Labrang Monastery, Xiahe County, Amdo, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

A newly released study shows that by eating a vegetarian diet, Buddhists in China annually prevent roughly 40 million tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. That’s the equivalent of 9.2% of all the greenhouse gases produced each year by France.

As reported in Lion’s Roar, the study, by Ampere A. Tzeng from Arizona State, was published in the Journal of Contemporary Buddhism. Called “Vegetarian Diets: A Quantitative Assessment,” it may provide further impetus for a trend that’s already underway: More and more Buddhists are going vegetarian. In Tibetan Buddhism, a number of voices have spoken out in favor of eliminating animals from one’s diet, including the head of the Kagyu school, and “the world’s happiest man,” Buddhist monk Matthieu Richard.

Not all Buddhists in China or anywhere else are vegetarian, and certainly vegetarians are in the minority among the Chinese, who are famously omnivorous. On a visit to Guangzhou, a local man told me that, “The Chinese will eat anything…