Protein gets allot of attention when it comes to diets, especially with all of the fad diets out there. On the other hand many health experts stress the importance of fruits vegetables and whole grains over meat and dairy products. Now obviously there are other ways of getting protein than from the meat and or dairy sources (living with a dairy allergy I know this first hand), but the truth is they are two of the most common sources of complete proteins in most Americans diets.
What are complete proteins you ask?
Theses are proteins that provide the nine "essential amino acids" that the body cannot produce on its own; examples are meat, fish, dairy, and poultry. Other common proteins such as grains and legumes (beans) often lack one or more of these essential amino acids.
Leave it nature though, to make up for any of her short comings... when grains are combined with legumes (beans) the result is a complete protein. This means that it is possible to get enough "complete" protein in your diet without eating tons of meat and dairy.