In a recent episode of SBS’s Animal Farm, Lee Hyori shared the story of the first dog named Mary.

When I was young, a dog from the countryside came into my house and we decided to care for it. Her name was Mary and I spent a lot of time with her when my parents went to work and my older sisters went to school. I was scared of being home alone and Mary gave me strength during those times.

— Lee Hyori

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Mary stayed in her life from when she was two years old to middle school, making her a part of the family for over ten years.

But one day, Mary disappeared from home.

Turns out, my parents took her to a Bosintang (dog meat soup) restaurant and my sisters and I were so shocked we cried our eyes out. Ever since then, Mary has always been in my heart. I always had the thought that I wanted to help. It was hard to make up my mind, but once I did, I started to go to different animal rescue centers starting in 2009 and later adopted Soonshim.

— Lee Hyori

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It was because of Mary that she started to volunteer at animal rescue centers and become vegetarian, drastically changing her way of life.