Got protein? - addressing the 400 lb gorilla (or elephant) in the room

The gorilla or elephant could answer, if they could speak, the most common question asked of humans whose diet is whole-food plant-based: where do you get your protein?  

Consider leafy plants. Some examples of (dry weight) caloric composition follows (from NutritionData.com):

  • kale: 16% protein; 12% fat; 72% carbohydrates
  • beet greens: 25 % protein; 5 % fat; 70% carbohydrates
  • spinach: 30% protein; 14% fat; 56% carbohydrates

compare this with:

  • bacon: 11% protein; 89% fat; 0 % carbohydrate
  • beef: 27% protein; 73% fat; 0 % carbohydrate
  • Big Mac: 18% protein; 52% fat; 30% carbohydrate

Example herbivore getting his protein:

Elephants eating acacia trees in Kruger National Park.