Updated: May 10, 2019
Any Vegan will tell you that this would be the number one question they get asked by people. It is one of those moments that we all internally roll our eyes.
My answer is often something light hearted along the lines of, "the same place a cow, or a horse, or a gorilla gets their protein". Answering this question, for me, is not one I approach with hostility. It is a question that most people ask, purely because they have never given it a thought before. I don't blame them for that. I prefer to take it as an opportunity to promote a plant based lifestyle and reassure people that it is very easy to live this way and get all that you need through a varied diet. Never feeling deprived.
When we live in a society that bangs on about protein, protein, protein, then most people are going to assume that us Vegans will be lacking in that department and find it difficult to keep up. That couldn't be further from reality as on average, vegans tend to get 70% more protein each day then they need. By consuming only plant foods, and no animal products, you will be sure to meet your minimum protein requirements, as long as you aren't calorie deficient. So in other words, eat enough food and you will get enough protein.
There are many rich plant based protein sources out there that really stack up well against animal based sources. Gram for gram, many plant foods that are high in protein actually surpass the protein content of animal products. Take that, meat eaters!
The other elements to consider when debating about protein sources are Fibre & Cholesterol. Animal products are often high in cholesterol and contain zero fibre, whereas plant foods are the opposite, containing plenty of fibre and zero cholesterol. Fibre is an extremely important element of diets, cholesterol is damaging to our heart health. More on those elements another time.