New York Times Bestselling Author Kris Carr Discusses Health During a Pandemic
Kris Carr is a New York Times bestselling author, wellness advocate, and cancer thriver. She has written several books, including Crazy Sexy Diet, which explores how a healthy vegan diet can improve your happiness. Kris also wrote and directed a documentary film called Crazy Sexy Cancer, which debuted at SXSW Film Festival and details her transformative and inspiring journey with cancer.
For our latest edition of Compassionate Living—Mercy For Animals’ lifestyle magazine—we sat down with Kris to discuss the pandemic and how we can regain our mental and physical health during these uncertain times. Here’s what she had to say:
How can we achieve optimum health and wellness at this uncertain time?
First, we need to be compassionate with ourselves. Our lives have been thrown upside down, and there’s a constant drumbeat of fear in the background. One of the best things we can do during this pandemic is commit to a mindful stress-reduction practice: deep breaths, meditation, time in nature—whatever helps you come back home to your heart. Second, we need to take care of each other. Even if you have a healthy immune system, that’s not the case for everyone. Wear a mask when you go out for their protection and your own.
How has eating plant-based impacted your life?
I went plant-based 17 years ago—right after I was diagnosed with incurable stage IV cancer. For me, this diet is delicious medicine. It’s taught me how to love and care for myself at the deepest level. It’s also opened my eyes to our interconnectedness. I’ve always been a huge animal lover. I grew up across the street from a dairy farm. As a little girl, I’d visit and love on the animals daily. But I had no idea what was really going on. It wasn’t until I got sick and started to research the best diets for recovery and longevity that the lights went on for me: If I didn’t want to experience suffering in my own life, how could I participate in the suffering of other sentient beings? That’s not healing.
What lessons has the pandemic brought to light for you?
I believe that pandemics like this will stay on the rise if we don’t remedy how we treat animals, the environment, and each other. What wasn’t working before is now totally collapsing—our food system, the economy, social injustice, and so on. But there’s a gift in the way those cracks have expanded. It creates an opportunity for change. We are each called to be on the compassionate side of history.
I also hope more folks are inspired to take better care of ourselves. When we do, we’re more capable of weathering storms and flexing our resilience—which equips us to take better care of others.
What do you love about Mercy For Animals?
What’s not to love?! I’m a total fangirl! Mercy For Animals has been a big part of my education in consciousness. You’re my go-to source for what’s going on behind the scenes, where so few of us are willing to bear witness, let alone take action. If it wasn’t for the work you and organizations like you do, there would be far more suffering in the world.
And here’s the thing: Suffering is energy, and that energy ripples out whether we feel it or not. So what each of us does to mitigate suffering makes an impact. No life is too small to experience kindness.
Are there any other words of wisdom you’d like to share?
You are all leaders. Keep taking care of your mindset, your physical health, and your hearts because we need you. The animals need you to feel your best so you can keep doing this great work.