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Korean vegetarian values: ethics, sustainability and quality of life

Korean vegetarian values: ethics, sustainability and quality of life Vegetarian diets are increasingly common worldwide. Vegetarianism is no longer just related to food, but rather it evokes a deeper meaning, such as environmental sustainability and animal welfare. In Western cultures, many studies have examined how vegetarians' motivations relate to animal welfare, health and environmentalism. However, there is little research in this area in Asia, especially in South Korea, despite a growing number of vegetarians. This study identifies the hierarchical value maps (HVMs) of vegetarians to clarify why people choose to become vegetarians and investigates the negative aspects of these dietary types.Design/methodology/approachThe authors conducted in-depth, one-to-one laddering interviews with 33 vegetarians in South Korea based on the means-end chain theory. The laddering technique is a qualitative approach to determining connections between attributes, consequences and values.FindingsVegetarians tend to value an ethical lifestyle, sustainable future, ecological circulation, responsibility for nature, respect for life, respect for the weak and quality of life. HVM differs slightly among groups by the type of vegetarianism (vegan vs non-vegan vegetarians) and sex (females vs males). The most dominant cognitive structures toward vegetarian diets were “meat-free,” “no factory farming,” and “plant-based” (attributes); “health,” “environment-friendly” and “animal-friendly” (consequences); and “quality of life,” “ethical life,” and “sustainable future” (values).Originality/valueThis study offers insights into the motivations of Korean vegetarians, and they are not culturally different from those of Westerners as they relate to animals, the environment and health. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Food Journal Emerald Publishing

Korean vegetarian values: ethics, sustainability and quality of life

British Food Journal , Volume 125 (6): 21 – May 16, 2023

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References (79)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0007-070X
DOI
10.1108/bfj-07-2021-0750
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Vegetarian diets are increasingly common worldwide. Vegetarianism is no longer just related to food, but rather it evokes a deeper meaning, such as environmental sustainability and animal welfare. In Western cultures, many studies have examined how vegetarians' motivations relate to animal welfare, health and environmentalism. However, there is little research in this area in Asia, especially in South Korea, despite a growing number of vegetarians. This study identifies the hierarchical value maps (HVMs) of vegetarians to clarify why people choose to become vegetarians and investigates the negative aspects of these dietary types.Design/methodology/approachThe authors conducted in-depth, one-to-one laddering interviews with 33 vegetarians in South Korea based on the means-end chain theory. The laddering technique is a qualitative approach to determining connections between attributes, consequences and values.FindingsVegetarians tend to value an ethical lifestyle, sustainable future, ecological circulation, responsibility for nature, respect for life, respect for the weak and quality of life. HVM differs slightly among groups by the type of vegetarianism (vegan vs non-vegan vegetarians) and sex (females vs males). The most dominant cognitive structures toward vegetarian diets were “meat-free,” “no factory farming,” and “plant-based” (attributes); “health,” “environment-friendly” and “animal-friendly” (consequences); and “quality of life,” “ethical life,” and “sustainable future” (values).Originality/valueThis study offers insights into the motivations of Korean vegetarians, and they are not culturally different from those of Westerners as they relate to animals, the environment and health.

Journal

British Food JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: May 16, 2023

Keywords: Vegetarian; Plant-based food; Means-end chain theory; Food choice; Sustainability

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