A Vegetarian Travel Guide Exclusive Interview
with world-famous wrestler…
Walter “Killer” Kowalski
Interviewed by Barry Harris
Walter “Killer” Kowalski (October 13, 1926 – August 30, 2008) was a Canadian professional wrestler and a dedicated vegetarian.
How did you become vegetarian?
Killer: It was 1953.
I was reading alot of books, studying the effects of food on the
body. At first, I wasn’t too sure about becoming a vegetarian. Then I
heard about these two runners, Roger Bannister and John Landy. They
were the first two men to break the four minute mile barrier. It was
at the British Empire Games which were run in British Columbia. Roger
Bannister, from England, won in under four minutes. And the little
guy, John Landy, from New Zealand, he was just behind by a foot, so
he ran under four minutes also. They both broke the four minute
Barry: They were both vegetarians?
Killer: Yes, when he was interviewed he was asked what do you attribute your feat to,
Roger Bannister said, “Well, I’m a vegetarian.” So they asked John
Landy said the same thing and he said, “I’m a vegetarian.” And so I
thought, I better give it a shot. Overnight, I became a vegetarian.
Barry: It sounds like you became vegetarian primarily for athletic prowess and to
perform better athletically.
Killer: In the beginning it was for athletic reasons, but later I became more
concerned about life itself. I won’t go too deeply into it, but there
is a religious part and meditative part of vegetarianism for me.
After I made the change, people asked me different
questions about being a vegetarian such as “Where do you get your
protein?” I would say to them, “Elephants, they’re vegetarians. They
grow up big and strong. And horses, they have tremendous endurance,
and they are vegetarians. But meat eaters, like lions and tigers,
they have a short lifespan.” The meat industry cons people into
thinking you must eat decaying rotting flesh to get your protein.
Bullshit, that’s a lot of baloney. Big, healthy, strong animals get
their protein from vegetarian sources, grass even!
Barry: Yes, with very little harmful waste products, and without all that saturated
fat, hormones and toxic additives.
Killer: The dairy is now coming out with that advertising campaign with all those people
having that white stuff on their lips, that white garbage on their
lips, conning people into thinking that you must drink milk. People
who watch television, naturally, they go for all that garbage and
Barry: It’s such a joke.
Killer: Let me explain something. If you can take a raw almond, which is high
protein in protein, put it in the ground and get a big tree, that’s
protein for you! If a tiny little almond can grow into a big
tree–and animals can eat vegetarian foods and what not, then I think
you’ll be OK being a vegetarian. That’s why summertime is the best
time for me. Why? Because I mow all my neighbor’s lawns with my
Barry: (Barry laughs)
Killer: So, there you are! All my neighbors love me. “Get Kowalski over here, he can
help mow our lawns.” I don’t think it does a lot of good, but I try
to do a good job anyway.
Barry: Do you feel you had an influence on other wrestlers to consider becoming
Killer: As far as I know, I was the only vegetarian wrestler around. To this day, its the
same. They still drink beer, booze, they go after broads, you know,
it’s all the same. Even today, I’m still considered a nutball in the
wrestling world. In my day, as a wrestler, they thought I was a real
crackpot anyway. I still work for World Wrestling. I still go to the
matches and they have me check out some of the new kids, take them
into the ring, even at my age.
Barry: There are all sorts of vegetarians, even junk food vegetarians. What kind of a
vegetarian have you been?
Killer: I didn’t ingest all the garbage that people do today. The prepared foods, with
all the preservatives, these have a harmful effect on you, too. I do
take vitamins and minerals. Because some of the food that’s out
there, it’s so depleted of natural elements. Also, in my whole life,
I don’t even remember ever taking an aspirin. I got away from
medications all together. I never smoked in my life. No alcoholic
beverages—well, I have to admit, I’m lying. One time, a guy says to
me, “Let’s have a beer.” So I said, “Okay. I’ve never tried a beer
before.” So they poured a beer into a glass. I drank it…and I
coughed it up. And I never tried it again. So there it was, no more
Barry: Were there any spiritual reasons why you became vegetarian?
Killer: Well, when I got away from animal foods, I became closer to God. That’s what
happened to me. I was more conscious of the good things in life. I
was more conscious of other people. And I was conscious of love. In
fact, when you eat more animal food, you hate more, you become more
Barry: I’d like to get an idea of what your diet is like now, and whether its changed
since you started being a vegetarian or whether its the same now as
when you started?
Killer: Well, my first meal of the day is just fruit. That’s all. Maybe once in a
while when I went to bed very late after a long trip, I’d wake up a
little late and I’ll have a regular meal. A regular meal is salad. I
eat salad, I eat avocados. I do not eat head lettuce. I eat
romaine—romaine lettuce and green leaf lettuce, that’s what I eat.
And cucumbers. I eat celery in my salad. And I do eat a can of beans
or something like that. But I do read the label beforehand and make
sure the beans are packaged only in water, no potassium sorbate and
chemicals like that. I read labels very consciously. And I don’t
drink milk, it makes me gag. I eat some pasta. I do not eat eggs.
That’s what my diet consists of mainly. And the strange part of it,
when I make my salad, I put everything together in a great big
bin—I put everything together, not separately, raw cauliflower, raw
broccoli, everything together.
Barry: Are you careful about your salad dressing?
Killer: Yes. I’m very particular about my salad dressing. My salad dressing is raw—I
mean virgin olive oil. And I don’t use salt, I have that thing on the
market they have in the health food store—amino acid salty.
Killer: Yes, Bragg’s. So I use that for a little seasoning. I do put oregano and a
little herbs like that in it also. I also use lemon and pure organic
apple cider vinegar. That’s why I make my own dressing. I don’t buy
the commercial dressings at all.
Barry: So basically your diet has been the same then since you first started as a
Barry: What do you think vegetarians can do as far as their contribution to help heal
Killer: Well, I don’t know how vegetarians can make a contribution—but every
individual is just that, an individual—and so what he feels he can
do, he can go in that direction. For myself, I try to think clearly.
Every thought you have has an effect on you. If you have discordant
thoughts, they have an affect on you. Thought, feeling and the spoken
word are the main creative activities we have at our disposal. In
other words, what you say, you can become. If you swear at somebody,
those vibrations travel through your body, and your feelings are
affected by that—if you just swear at somebody—so your feelings
they become discordant, they can have a definite effect on how you
progress. And same with thought, feeling, spoken word. Bad thoughts,
they have an affect upon you, and others, because you create these
images around you.
So in other words, think clearly, think positively, and
when you say things, be kind to people. Once there
was this lady screaming at me, just hollering at me, and I’m just
calmly looking at her and I say, “I love you.” That broke her up. I
won. So, I won with a little thing like that. So these things
Barry: It sounds like what you’re saying is that a major problem in the world today is
that people don’t take responsibility for their thoughts, for their
Killer: You know meat has harmful effects on people’s spirits and souls. But how can
the world really be saved?—by love. So we should pour out more
love. Unfortunately, it’s common that people judge people by how much
material things they have, from their accumulation of things, that’s
what we rate them by. Why don’t we change it around and rate people
by love, how much love they pour out, rate them that way? And all of
a sudden the vibrations of the individual will rise, the vibrations
of your home will rise, the vibrations of the whole planet will rise,
because now people are loving more, and becoming more positive—the
outlook changes. Why? Because all of a sudden, we’re all becoming
what. We’re all becoming angels—and the earth can be another
Barry: That is really beautiful, Walter.
Killer: I don’t know where that all came from—I guess I was just a channel. The last
part about earth being another heaven—I just love that.
Barry: You’re surprising yourself. You’re really eloquent. I’ll say one thing,
people that come here for wrestling training from you, they probably
get something more than they bargained for. They might realize that
you have a real effect on their lives that they didn’t expect.
Killer: They come here to be trained physically. But I try to help them also
emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Barry: Wonderful. So let’s see if I have any other questions?
So, do you feel like John Robbins, author of Diet
For A New America, that there is a connection between ecological
problems, animal rights and becoming vegetarian?
Killer: Yes, and people can also change this planet by love. You can pour out love to
an animal. The way you feel towards an animal has a definite effect
upon them. But if you look at an animal and show fear, then the
animal tries to overtake that fear and he comes at you, but if you
pour love at the animal—if you know how, this takes training to do
it—then that animal responds to that.
Barry: Do you feel there is a use for vegetarianism in reaching higher spiritually
Killer: Yes. The more you back away from meat products, the more you elevate yourself,
the vibratory level of your whole body changes and you become more
conscious of higher levels of existence—of other things.
Barry: And you’ve experienced this yourself?
Killer: Yes, higher levels of experience. People who eat animals take in low vibrations.
You need to elevate yourself above and beyond all that and the next
thing you know, as I mentioned before, you become an angel walking
Barry: And that’s one of the reasons you’re vegetarian too, to raise yourself to that
Killer: Look at me, Walter Kowalski, the angel!
Walter, do you feel a personal responsibility that you can have an
influence in bringing about a more conscious vegetarian
Killer: Well, I do have a name. My name is Killer Kowalski. And that’s a very striking
name to the people. But when you get to know me, I become WALTER
Kowalski, a very loving person.
Barry: Lover Kowalski?
Killer: Yes, you could say that—NO, NO, NO, DON’T SAY THAT, the girls might get the
wrong idea. (Laughter). When you meet me, you’ll see that I have an
entirely different attitude about life. And my attitude is that I try
to help people. I go out of my way to help people, to raise them
above and beyond. For instance, I was talking to one of my students
today, and he was having a lot of difficulty doing a wrestling move.
And so I tell him, “Stop, don’t do the move.” He was building a wall,
looking negatively at himself and getting into a bad habit of
thinking. So I told him to go home think of it this way—”I can do
it easily, it’s really simple.” We can learn how to program oneself
positively and become a champion. Everything you do, try become a
Barry: Do you feel there’s a way to influence others through the political process, like
picketing McDonald’s and things like that—do you think there’s a
place for that?
Killer: Most of the time, people who picket, there’s hate in their emotional body. But
look at it this way about McDonald’s. Every time you think of
McDonald’s, think of an angel. Think of an angel standing over
McDonald’s with great light around it. That will have a better effect
than you showing hate towards them. In other words, be more of an
angel yourself. Pour more love. Pour more love to everything. Don’t
go out there and try to show people about McDonald’s. Try to be an
example yourself, but when you do demonstrate, they have people
looking at you, and they throw direct hate at you, and say, “Look at
those crackpots out there.” And they start cussing you out, and you
start cussing back at them. What do you gain by all that? Absolutely
nothing, nothing at all. Hate produces more hate. So if you pour out
more love, that love has a higher vibration and you’ll see,
McDonald’s will start serving more vegetarian foods. And you know,
another one of those fast food restaurants started serving vegetarian
meals and they found more people were asking for the vegetarian
dishes. And all of a sudden they were getting more business. So maybe
McDonald’s will then come up with a vegetarian frank or a hamburger
or something. If people want it, McDonald’s will change—you don’t
change it by picketing.
Barry: Well, we’ve had quite an interview. Thank you so much, Killer. I’ve learned quite
a bit from you, and enjoyed this immensely. I’ve found you
fascinating and I’m sure the readers will also.
Killer: Thank you, Barry.
©1997-2011 Peter Edward Firk.