When vegans get asked the infamous "where do you get your protein?" question, they can answer it pretty easily. But then vegans should ask their concerned omnivore counterparts, "are you aware of the health risks from getting too much protein?" Most likely, they have no idea.
Eating too much protein--specifically protein from animals--is linked with various health maladies.
- Increased risk of osteoporosis (University of California)
- Increase in gout, which contributes to arthritic problems (University of Maryland)
- Increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (Yale)
- Increased risk of type II diabetes (Diabetes Journal)
- Increased risk of infants becoming overweight when combined with sugary beverages (Nutrition Journal)
- Increased risk of obesity in society (National Institutes of Health)
- Increased risk of long-term weight gain (National Institutes of Health)
- Increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease (National Institutes of Health)
- Increases risk of adrenal and hormonal problems in children (National Institutes of Health)
- Too much red meat may shorten lifespan (Harvard University)
What constitutes "too much?" The Dietitians of Canada advise just 2 oz of meat per day. This means anything more than meat the size of a deck of cards is too much.
If you really want to assuage the concern of your non-vegan friends and family, send them this video along with a copy of Dr. Campbell's "The China Study."
Here's a neat infographic further explaining the issue of too much protein from Door to Door Organics.