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Vegan and future veteran Taehyun Jung has called out the Korean military for its lack of plant-based offerings.
Jung, who aims to join the military next year, is filing a complaint against the National Defense Commission to offer a vegan option, arguing not to do so would ‘violate the individual’s freedom of conscience and the right to health’.
‘Mentally and physically stressed’
The Public Human Rights Law Foundation Empathy is helping Jung with the complaint, which is now ‘almost complete’.
Jung has interviewed vegetarians who had been to the military, stating that one woman had lost more than 22lb and was ‘mentally and physically stressed after training while starving’ after a week of enlistment.
‘A very important issue’
“In Korea, almost all males must go to the army for about two years, and there is no such thing as a vegan meal so vegans (and vegetarians) have to eat animals to survive,” Jung wrote on the Facebook page Vegan Korea.
“This is a very important issue for me and other vegan Korean meals. Please share this issue so that everyone knows about!”
Jung was also interviewed by local news outlet Gyeong-Hyang News, where he talked about his vegan journey after watching a video on YouTube of Gary Yourofsky.
“Even though I liked meat, I didn’t eat dogs or cats. I didn’t think it was ‘meat’,” Jung said. “But [farm animals] also feel pain and have emotions.
“I thought that cows milked in nature, but then I realized that all mammals have milk [go through] artificial insemination, and chicks are taken away as soon as they are born… When milk production is low, they are slaughtered to make hamburger meat.”