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How I Became A Vegetarian Vegan
by Will Chris Holley
more Vegan info at  

Speakers On Please: my pages have background music


When I was in Pre-school, I had this Nice Lady Teacher.  She was beautiful. She was nice. Everyone else was ugly, everyone else smelled real bad, and everyone else was real mean, except her.  She was a Vegetarian.

When I was a kid, around age 7, living in the Hollywood Hills. I got angry, had temper tantrums and threw things from time to time. Like a lot of other kids (and adults), I needed help.
Doctors said "cut back on your Red meats" (and later added "cut back on all meats"), as eating meat tends to make people angry, and temperamental.
A lady who cut my hair when I was a kid, was also a vegetarian, and she tired to persuade me to be a vegetarian (but with my family, it was kind of hard to do).
My grandparents sent me to a Quaker Boarding School 600 miles away (Quakers aka "Society of Friends" are famous for their "non-violence" and "pacifism", not perfect, they just try for peace with a bit more effort), and they in turn introduced me to vegetarianism.
It was not a vegetarian school, I just met some vegetarians who were visiting the school.  I tried eating no meat for a few days and liked it, and I met some Vegans too, who really impressed me, that's what I wanted to be, a Vegan.
"It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind." - Albert Einstein, Letter to 'Vegetarian Watch-Tower', 27 December 1930)
While in High School my thru the redwood forest neighbors Jeanie Doe and her son Marcus McCallen who was my musician friend (we played in a rock band together), told me that their vegetarian food would help my tummy which was aching much of the time.  So I tried it, and within 2 weeks, no more tummy aches.  Although my family felt I went too far with this "vegetarian thing", and it took allot of pushing, forcing, and arguing; I eventually became a vegetarian (most of the time, occasionally going off the due to friends or family pestering me to eat turkey, but only very rarely).   And by the end of high school, my grandmother was reading lots of books on nutrition, giving me vitamins, and I was on a near vegan diet for around a year.  

Then I went to college, and due to unavailability of vegetarian food, and due to antagonism of others, (Soy Milk or Soy Juice was rare and hard to find in those days, and the health food store reserved the soy juice for "Vegans Only"), and I was just a vegetarian (they said once I had not eaten dairy products for a full year, then they would consider selling me soy juice).  These days you can get soy milk at most major grocery chains (soy milk, same thing as soy juice: Water, Soy Beans, and usually Sugar). While at College of Marin in the 70's I had a Vegan roommate (music major) "Craig Peterson" who told me all about Veganism. I appreciate the info and am sorry I didn't switch from vegetarian to vegan sooner.

I moved to L.A. (trying to get any reasonable job, and trying to get into the music biz) and eventually (and very reluctantly) gave up being a vegetarian, due to prejudice against me, poverty, employers, family, no job, nearly homeless, then with all of my family having turned against me at the same time, I gave up. I gave it up for 10 years, and during those 10 years I ate steak, hamburgers, pork ribs, and hot dogs (the worst), and became a verbally abusive temperamental person and gained 100 lbs.
During the 10 years of meat, I tried many times to go back to being a vegetarian, but every time I did, I would loose my job, and friends and family would give me a hard time about it, panicked at my trying to not eat meat. I finally held out, no meat, and got laid off (my fellow workers at Quotron would vouch for me, every time I tried to go Vegetarian, they would threaten to lay me off, at least my fellow workers sided with me), so I held out and got laid off. After loosing my Luxury apartment (Southern Hermosa, a block from the beach) and not being able to find work in my field of Electronics (or in any field), I moved in with my Mom (a non-vegetarian), and I eventually went back to eating meat, and got a job with a major corporation, got married, then I tried to go vegetarian again, was injured, then laid off, then became quite ill, with kidney and liver problems.  Jobless and Broke, I was given one year to live.

I went back to being a vegetarian.  The doctor who told me I was dying and had only a year to live, in July of 1992, objected to my trying to be a vegetarian, but I insisted, saying, if I had only one year left, let me live it as a vegetarian.. Then I gave in for one meal of meat Jan 23,1993 after my wife gave up trying to be a vegetarian with me.  So I gave in for one meal, but immediately went back to a vegetarian diet, and have been a very strict vegetarian ever since.

Then I got divorced (a friendly divorced, we are still good friends), and  I sought support from The Vegetarian Society (doing volunteer computer work for Mary Cizmas), and then Earth Save in Orange County CA (gaining lots of Health Info), then getting books, and became member of

I moved up to Las Vegas with my mom.  I continued being a vegetarian, and got only non-animal rennet cheese from Trader Joes (microbial rennet or vegetable rennet, because other forms of rennet come from the stomachs of young cows, veal cows).   Then I decided that I just had to be a Vegan, because all the Vegans I met thru my life, had this "Magic Aura" or "Cool Vibe" about them.  They were all such great people, and I wanted to be a Vegan too, and all I would really miss was Cheese, which is not good for you (high in deadly Saturated Fats), and besides they have substitute Soy Cheese (with no animal products).  So I have been on a strict diet Vegan since Dec 21st 1998 (a Vegetarian since January 1993)

I am much stricter on myself now, both in eliminating intake of any animal products, and stricter in getting proper nutrition, and its much better this way, now that I know what I am doing. Gone is the aggression, gone is the anger (oh sure, you can anger anyone, don't try me), gone is the everyday general policy of anger, which most people accept as common everyday behavior.

Before and After Photos Before&After

Fortunately, during a bout of unemployment in 1997, I got some books on Health and Nutrition, and have become an "amateur health and nutrition expert".   I have lost weight (properly, getting protein, fiber, raw veggies, vitamins and minerals), and I am much healthier, and more attractive, I am no longer obese.  I have been around 190 lbs for a couple of years now.  By the MERCK MANUAL of Medical Information ("The" standard medical reference book), which has the strictest Height/Weight chart I have seen, I being 6'1" tall without shoes, should weight 149 to 187 lbs, so I am basically fairly normal, at the upper end or to the max of what I should weigh, and want to get down to at least 165 to burn off fat which has accumulated around my heart (my grandfather had one of the first open heart surgeries from the famous heart surgeon Debeckie (spelling?), many years ago.  The pulled hunks of fat off from around his heart.  It looks like I can avoid having open heart surgery, and it looks like I made it well past the one year I was given to live back in 1992.  

Its a struggle for survival.  And with that precarious struggle, I don't need to compromise my Health or my Karma, when life is so short. Being a Vegan is the only way to live (and I am backed by facts from the Mayo Clinic and American Cancer Society)


I eat delicious healthy foods, and I am gradually loosing the 120 lbs that I gained over the 10 years that I ate meat.

At 6'1" I should weigh from 149 lbs  to 187 lbs.

I weighed 160 lbs before giving up being a vegetarian back around 1982, and I weighed 280 after 10 years of meat.

Turn off the TV and go to the Library.

Eat to Live, Don't Live to Eat.

Search the net using options to exclude all except .edu pages (or .gov has some interesting things too), else you will get nothing but web page commercial ad's. .edu is the only way to do it.

The hardest part is saying "NO" to those who want you to eat meat.

Will Chris Holley, 147 IQ genius
AAS Electronics; BAS Automated Manufacturing (trade College, Honor Grad)
AS CIM; AA Fine Arts Music (Jr College, Honor Society)
Idiots Guide to Eating Smart
Nutrition for Dummies
The Vegan Sourcebook by Stepaniak *
Idiots Guide to Vitamins & Minerals
Idiots Guide to Being Vegetarian *
The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book by Shari Lieberman
Complete Guide to Health & Nutrition by Gary Null
Eating Well for Optimum Health by Andrew Weil
Diet for a New America by John Robbins *
A Consumers Dictionary of Food Additives by Winter
Hard to Swallow: the Truth About Food Additives by Evans
The pH Miracle by Young & Young