Lee Hyori’s Controversial Statement Regarding Korean Beef Cattle


You say there are many people who die of hunger and ask what the big deal is if cows die of hunger but isn’t there any means of an easier death?” (Lee Hyori’s tweet)

On January 14, Lee Hyori made an opinionated statement on her Twitter, which once again blew up to be quite a controversy. She spoke out against the Korean beef cattle farmers and their actions due to the recent fall of cattle prices. She raised the topic of how cows were currently dying and asked if there could be better conditions for them.

However, many netizens who came across her worrisome statement were not very pleased. They exclaimed that Lee Hyori’s worries were not the same as those of the cattle farmers. Due to the price decline of cattle, many farmers are suffering and struggling with income and as a last resort to ask the government for help, they were starving their cattle. Netizens were criticizing Lee Hyori for only thinking about the cows’ pain and death.

Netizens say, “Farmers heart-achingly starved their cattle, which were probably like their own children. The farmers are the ones who raised the cattle. The survival of the farmers are at hand as well. Lee Hyori is only talking about how she feels bad for the cows. The point isn’t about how the cattle die. This isn’t a problem that would be solved by figuring out a better way for cows to die. It is a matter of having a reasonable balance of supply and demand for the economy of the nation.”

Furthermore, people are saying that Lee Hyori’s recent statement contradicts her past actions. Last year, Lee Hyori received a lot of money (about $330,000 USD) to be the marketing spokesperson for Korean beef cattle for six months. However, after her contract was over, in an interview, Lee Hyori stated how she was thinking about becoming a vegetarian.

At this, netizens said, “She received such a high guarantee for being a Korean beef cattle spokesperson but right afterwards, she claims that she likes the vegetarian diet. For the sake of farmers and for the sake of the cattle, consumption of Korean beef is very important. However, her past actions are things that would decrease the consumption. Her words and her actions are not consistent.”

Lee Hyori’s management, B2M Entertainment spoke with Dispatch on January 16. They said, “The interview where Hyori talked about vegetarianism is not a proclamation of being a vegetarian on her part. She was just talking about eating healthy. Regarding the recent cattle issue, Hyori did not mean to stir up a heated debate and was just merely speaking her mind.”

What are your thoughts on Hyori’s statements?