They say love is blin.d, when people fall in love with someone really hard, they’re ready to sacrifice anything. Well, almost. We can stop biting nails, eat less junk, and swap that beloved gross hoodie we never part with for a nice shirt, but when it comes to pets, it’s a whole different story.
A 22-old-man has been dating his girlfriend for 7 months and according to him, “she’s amazing and we’re super compatible in a lot of ways.” She’s also a vegan, a fact which shouldn’t make a whole lot of difference, but the way she approaches veganism kind of does.
Although having a really good relationship and they were both aiming not to hurt animals to protect the environment, they had to split. The girlfriend assumed raising a cat was against the principles of veganism so she asked him to give his lovely kitty named Mittens away.
Since they wanted to move up to another level of the relationship stage which was living together, they had a serious conversation about what needed to adapt to each other. Mittens the cat was accidentally mentioned in the talk and it brought three of them to a whole different situation.
The girlfriend said that there was no future until the guy gives his beloved furry friend away. Her reason was—it violates the principles of veganism.
We all know that cats are carnivores who eat r.a.w mea.ts, and for those who are in the plant-based community (vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, etc.), this is a critical commitment that they should follow for their entire life. But with cats who do no harm to us, there will be a lot of trouble when we feed vegan food for them: hea.rt problems, blin.d.ness, and so on.
Clearly, the guy didn’t give up on his cat Mittens and they broke up a long time ago. After posting his dilemma on Reddit, he received a lot of positive supports to keep Mittens.
“I do think that, sometimes, new vegans can be a little overzealous. In reality, most of us are just doing the best that we can to not hurt animals!”
He said and added that “Many users said that this situation was about control, not veganism, and looking back, I do see a pattern of control on my girlfriend’s part.”
Here is the full story he shared on Reddit:
“My (22M) vegan girlfriend (21F) wants me to get rid of my cat
I can’t believe I’m about to type this but here we go.
I’ve been dating my GF for 7 months. She’s amazing and we’re super compatible in a lot of ways. She is an outspoken vegan, and she made it clear at the start of our relationship that it was important to her that any potential had similar cru.elty-free values. Me, already being a pescatarian, had little difficulty transitioning to a fully plant based di.et. My GF was proud of me for going cru.elty free and everything seemed well. We became “the vegan couple” on our college campus.
Then there is my cat, Mittens… I’ve had her for three years and I adore her. She’s such a sweet and cuddly cat. However, my GF was always a little apprehensive around her, and she blamed it on not growing up around cats. After a while we sort of made a tacit agreement to mostly hang out at her apartment instead of mine, so Mittens never really came up again in conversation.
Fast forward through all the quarantine stuff… My gf and I have spent a lot of time together during this pandemic and we’ve started talking about taking our relationship to the next level. We began seriously looking at either buying a new apartment together or having one of us move in with the other.
However, after a lot of talking and planning, my GF sat me down and dropped a b.o.m.b shel.l on me. She said that with this next phase of the relationship, she did not see a future with me unless I was willing to give away Mittens. She said that she believed owning a cat is unconscionable for vegans, because they hun.t mice and eat mea.t, and because the very act of owning a pet is a violation of vegan principles.
I was stunned. I told her that I was absolutely not willing to give up Mittens, and she had no choice but to eat mea.t so I was reducing harm as much as possible by buying reputable brands of cat food. Plenty of vegans own cats and think along those same lines. My gf got ma.d and said “how much flesh does your cat ea.t? How many animals di.ed to make all that food? Would you be okay with that being hum.an fles.h?”
I got mad and told my GF that I would have really appreciated her telling me about her cat opinions before we got serious. She went on and on about cats ki.l.ling animals. I ended the conversation there. I was so an.gry that I left my gfs apartment. And I snuggled with Mittens when I got home! Although the mood soured a bit when my GF sent me a link to a Reddit thread advocating for the extinction of domestic cats. Sigh
I think it goes without saying that I am not going to get rid of my cat. However, it pains me to think that an otherwise wonderful relationship could be ending because of a difference in ideology. I don’t even really understand where my GF is coming from because like I said, a lot of vegans own cats. Now granted, cat ownership can be a controversial topic in vegan circles and I probably would not have gotten a cat if I had been vegan at the time, but I have Mittens now, and she deserves to eat. (Yes, I’ve researched vegan cat food, but Mittens has some digestive issues and my vet strongly cautions against it.)
I’ve talked to some of my vegan and vegetarian friends and they all think my gf has lost her mind. Some have suggested that it’s not about Mittens and my gf just wants an excuse to end it. They probably don’t understand why I haven’t broken up yet, but I care about my GF so much. I’d hate for this bizarre curve ball to be the end of a beautiful thing. I want to try and work something out.
Where do I even go from here? I will not compromise on Mittens and I don’t think my GF will compromise either.
Edit: wow, this completely blew up while I was asleep. I am trying to read every comment but there are a lot. Also, please allow me to take this moment to reiterate that my GFs views are not representative of those held by the wider vegan community!!”
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