Very recently, a Redditor asked other Redditors for advice regarding his relationship with his vegan girlfriend. Apparently, she felt very strongly about her veganism, so much so that she wanted her partner to share her values on the matter. Initially, this was fine because the Redditor was already a pescatarian, meaning that he found it to be relatively easy to eliminate fish from his diet as well. However, the couple ran into a serious problem when their relationship intensified because of the COVID-19 crisis.
In short, the Redditor has had a cat named Mittens for three years and counting. His girlfriend had always expressed a sense of apprehension around the cat, which she attributed to her not having grown up around the animals. As a result, the couple spent most of their shared time in her apartment rather than his apartment, which came with an unspoken agreement to avoid mentioning Mittens as well. Unfortunately, when they started thinking about taking their relationship to the next level, she laid down the ultimatum that she didn’t see a future with the Redditor unless he was willing to give away his cat. Something that the girlfriend attributed to the position that cat ownership was unconscionable for vegans.
Unsurprisingly, the couple had an argument over the whole thing. After which, the Redditor went home, with the result that he was further soured on the relationship when his girlfriend sent him a link to a Reddit thread calling for the extinction of cats and thus the end of cat ownership. Due to this, he posted his own Reddit thread in which he asked for advice on what he should do in response to his girlfriend’s ultimatum, which resulted in a recommendation that he break up with her because the whole thing sounded more like her attempting to exercise control over him rather than stand up for her principles. Eventually, the Redditor followed through with the recommendation because his unwillingness to give away Mittens meant that they had incompatible values that couldn’t be worked through.
Why Was This an Issue in the First Place?
People can choose to be vegan for a wide range of reasons. For instance, there are some people who choose to be vegan because they have a moral objection to the way that meat animals are treated. Simply put, factory farming prioritizes producing a large amount of meat while spending as little as possible, with the result that animal welfare is relegated to either a secondary or even a tertiary concern. One excellent example of this would be how meat animals are often crammed into very small enclosures, which doesn’t exactly do wonders for either their physical well-being or their mental well-being. Another example would be how it is easier for meat producers to manage the symptoms than to treat the root cause of those symptoms, as shown by the routine debeaking of chickens to prevent injurious pecking. On top of this, even if meat producers treat their meat animals well, there are plenty of vegans who object to the killing of animals so that their bodies can be processed for meat. Meanwhile, there are other people who are more concerned about the effect that meat production is having on the planet. Since meat animals have to eat, producing meat is much more resource-intensive than producing crops and other non-meat foods. As such, the rising demand for meat is a huge contributor to the pollutants emitted by food production, which in turn, contributes to the climate change that is threatening to cause major disruptions rippling throughout human society.
In any case, since vegans can show such a wide range of reasons for their consumption choices, it should come as no surprise to learn that they have similar diversity of thought when it comes to the extent of their veganism. Simply put, there are some vegans who are fine with meat-eating pets. However, there are also vegans who are not, which is actually a complicated issue.
For starters, dogs and cats can’t be treated the same in this regard. Generally speaking, while dogs eat meat, dogs aren’t required to eat meat. In fact, there are some people who have made the claim that dogs shouldn’t be considered carnivores but rather omnivores. Meanwhile, cats are considered obligate carnivores, meaning that they need to eat meat in order to survive. As for why this is the case, the simple and straightforward answer is that they just don’t have the kind of digestive system that a herbivore would have. Having said that, there are vegan cat food products that have been supplemented with additional nutrients that are meant to help vegan cat owners, though interested individuals should be very careful with their use because the reports of results have been rather mixed. Thanks to this, they might want to consult their veterinarian before proceeding further.
Besides this, the other issue is the need to compromise in relationships. Basically, it is very rare for two people to be perfectly compatible with one another right from the very start. Instead, most successful relationships are reliant on partners compromising to some extent when it comes to their differences while relying on their similarities to bring them closer. As a result, one can make the argument that compromise is key to building as well as maintaining a successful relationship.
Unfortunately, there will be times when one partner asks the other for more than what they are willing to give. Sometimes, this is recoverable. Other times, this can turn into something much more problematic. For example, if both partners are determined to maintain their respective positions throughout the entire process, that is going to turn into a serious point of contention that can cause problems for the whole relationship. Likewise, even if one partner is forced to give way, there is a very real chance that they will harbor grievances over it. Something that can serve as the seed for future clashes. As such, when two partners can’t resolve something that both of them won’t budge on, going their separate ways might be the best possible option. Not every relationship will work out, meaning that it might be best to end them on amicable terms rather than attempt to hold on for as long as possible.