[Q&A] Do Korean guys date vegetarian and vegan girls?

Do Korean guys date vegan vegetarian girls question
Marina T. 真理菜 asked:
Hi you two love birds ^^ I’m curious about something. I live vegan, I guess you know what that means, so I was curious how Korean guys see all this. I’m always imagining that Koreans (man or women) wouldn’t want to be with a vegetarian or vegan person, since they/we don’t prepare meals with animal parts and Korean BBQ is such a bonding thing and so on. So, do you think that such a relationship is even possible?Being vegetarian or vegan in South Korea answer
Korean sidedishes are suitable for vegetarians
I’m not a vegetarian, but I eat relatively small amounts of meat. Kimchi Man, he loves his meat. He’s very slim and eats small amounts of food, but when it comes to meat, only the sky is the limit.Which means that when we’re eating together I either give him some of mine, or make sure he at least gets the bigger piece. And this makes him very happy. So just look at it as you have the opportunity to make some Korean guy very happy as well.I asked Kimchi Man if he would mind if I was a vegetarian and he said it doesn’t affect him what I eat or not, as long as I let him eat freely whatever he wishes.He also added that there are plenty of Korean side dishes that are vegetarian, so vegetarians shouldn’t go hungry even when Korean barbeque is served.

Now, despite many different definitions one may come across, in general vegans have a more strict diet than vegetarians and exclude such products as eggs, milk, honey and any foods derived from animals. Vegetarians can be more lax, and some even eat fish.

While most Korean side dishes don’t contain meat nor fish they do usually contain fish stock and other animal byproducts. So that may be a problem for you.

Still, awareness of vegetarian lifestyle is spreading throughout Korea. Some high schools are starting to serve vegetarian meals, number of restaurants serving vegetarian food is steadily growing, and cooking classes that teach how to prepare temple food are becoming increasingly popular. The temple food which is prepared in Korean Buddhist temples traditionally contains no meat and is prepared from natural ingredients.

Of course, that influences living in Korea, and not so much the intimate relationship between two people. We both believe you can form relationships with Koreans being vegetarian or vegan. However, interesting comments have further been added by an Anonymous reader and our asker Marina T.:

Anonymous says:

Well, I personally believe that one’s diet preference is not important in the relationship even though we Korean males really love BBQ and other meat stuffs. Also, there already are lots of vegetarian people (both males and females) who are in relationship in South Korea. There are various vegetarian dishes in Korea because Korean diet culture originates from agricultural vegetarian diet. So, I believe they can live without eating meat.

Marina T. 真理菜 (@Mandarince) says:

Thank you anon for your reply ^^ So you think the diet preference is not important? hmmm, I am not sure what to think actually, I guess I will know once I’ll come in this situation.

Anyway, I’ve actually discovered a site from a vegan Korean couple with vegan Korean dishes and I love the food.

But what do you mean with “…they can live without meat”? Do you mean the guy would actually turn vegetarian or vegan? I’m really curious.

Sure, people in relationships do change and influence each other. But actually going into a relationship with preconceived notion that you’re going to “fix” your partner has a big chance of not ending well. If you’re entering a relationship with meat-eater you have to be certain that you can accept that he will probably stay meat-eater for the rest of his life and that you won’t resent him.

Then, without actively trying to change him or guilt him into it, just live your life and show him what and why you believe, and only then he may grow to like your way and accept it. Or not.

Some useful links:

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11 thoughts on “[Q&A] Do Korean guys date vegetarian and vegan girls?

  1. When I saw the title, my immediate reaction is “Why not?” ^^
    I’d just like to share… my Korean guyfriend can’t eat meat and seafoods. He is not in any diet (or so he claims!). It’s just that he really can’t. Since he was a kid, he always feels like throwing up whenever he eats meat or seafoods. The first time we went out, we went to a Dak kalbi (chicken) place. He told me then that he can’t eat meat and it’s quite difficult for a Korean since, as Marina said, most Koreans eat meat when going out. So he is trying to eat meat now and can eat a few bites. The second time we went out with other friends, he ordered a dosirak (lunch box) that only has rice, kimchi, egg and kim on it. The next time we went out, I simply told him that we eat what he can eat since I’m not picky with what I eat and can eat almost anything and everything. So we went for another dosirak and we both enjoyed our meal.
    What I’m trying to say is that I don’t think it matters at all – as long as no one forces the other to eat or not eat something.

    • Your poor friend :(

      (Kimchi Man don’t read further! ^^)

      I know how it is, because Kimchi Man has the same reaction to whipped cream. Once he threw up just because I mentioned it. I hope he listened to me and didn’t read this.

      It’s really nice of you to help your friend relax. It’s really horrible to be forced to eat something you don’t like.

  2. My husband loves meat so much. It’s really important to him so it’s something I can’t change and wouldn’t want to change. I completely agree with what you said about not going into the relationship with the intent to change them- it can’t end well. I don’t eat that much meat, and have been vegetarian at different points of my life, but ended up being married to a huge meateater. That’s fine though, having some differences is good for a relationship. I don’t really feel pressured to eat lots of meat and I don’t try to get him to stop eating meat.

    • Exactly, we are both happy cause the other one is not pressuring us. As I said, I’m not vegetarian, I’ve never been and I like meat, but I really can’t eat more than a few bites, so he happily accepts my leftovers. On the other hand, I always finish his fries :)

      And for the rest of our readers, go check out Nichola’s blog, she makes really cute comics!

  3. Hi, I just wanted to share my experience that I’ve had with this.
    I’m a vegetarian, and my Korean boyfriend looves meat. It works out fine, and when we go out to eat I just order the vegetarian food available. Sometimes he wishes that I ate meat so I could try things like galbi, but I tell him maybe later. So, in the end, diet preference shouldn’t make a difference in a relationship! We love each other just as we are. :)

  4. Hey oegukeen, interesting topic! Don’t know how much my experience will help here since I’m married to a Chinese guy and am vegan. But I can tell you that most Chinese men love their meat, including my hubby, but he’s extremely respectful of my diet. I think the key is to find someone who is will be flexible. For example, sometimes we’ll eat slightly different things during meals — we might share a vegetable dish, while I eat tofu and he eats ribs or fish. Or something I might make him something completely different, while I eat a vegan meal.

    You’re totally right that you should never go into a relationship trying to fix or change someone. That’s often hard for vegans, who have many good reasons for their diet. But I’ve simply come to accept my husband just how he is, and likewise he affords me the same respect. Sometimes that mutual respect matters so much more than whether or not you eat exactly the same.

    Besides that’s something everyone will face in any marriage, no matter what your preferences are. I know a couple who is vegetarian, but the husband can’t stand Mexican food — and when he’s away, she eats Mexican vegetarian. So there you go.

    • Hi, thanks for chiming in, it’s great to hear an actual experience from someone. Honestly, I don’t think it makes any difference if he’s Chinese or Korean, your advice is sound for any nationality.

  5. Just for clearification, I would never ever want to change someone, it doesn’t matter which aspect of the person, never. I don’t believe in changing someone… if two ppl don’t fit together, they should separate, not start to chang each other… so much for that ^^
    I was more interested if >>I<< would be forced to eat meat or be forced to prepare something with meat, which I would never do… thinking about it, this actually would be the man wanting to change me.

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