Adopting a vegan lifestyle is becoming more and more popular.
The environmental benefits are hard to ignore.
But when it comes to relationships between vegans and non-vegans, it often seems like the difference in lifestyles all to easily lends itself to a rift. Case in point?
A Reddit post from a woman embroiled in conflict with her vegan stepdaughter over whether or not the family cat should go vegan too.
And it sounds like the claws are out!
black panther cat GIF Giphy
Redditor headachebrewing recently posted her sticky situation to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit, where people can pose their life dilemmas to anonymous strangers who adjudicate who's at fault by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
The Original Poster (OP) titled her story:
"AITA for telling my stepdaughter she's absolutely under no circumstances allowed to switch out my cats food for vegan food even though she's losing weight because the sight of normal cat food makes her sick?"
That is... quite the kerfuffle! But it's nothing compared to the actual situation she's dealing with.
"Sorry for the appalling title. My stepdaughter is living with my husband and I for the next year. She's an educated young professional who's saving up to buy her own home."
"Since she's moved in with us (past 3 months) she's become increasingly snappy and unhappy with how her dad and I run our lives.
"We aren't environmentally conscious enough because we don't compost our waste, we are negligent because we leave lights on when we leave our home for security reasons, we should switch to electric cars, we are contributing to the inhumane treatment of cows by consuming dairy, the list is endless."
OK, but how did the cat get involved?
confused cat GIF Giphy
OP's stepdaughter is not having it—down to the last detail.
"My cat Mango is getting to be an old ass man and he has lived a full life of eating whatever the f**k he likes (obviously within what's safe for a cat) and he's happy that way. My stepdaughter is now insisting she will purchase vegan cat food because seeing Mango eat meat makes her sick."
"We feed him in the kitchen and she will literally throw up/retch/leave the kitchen if she sees him eat meat. She HAS lost a lot of weight since claiming that seeing Mango eat meat makes her sick, and we leave out dry biscuits for him to snack on which also makes her sick."
"It's not like we leave mess out but even if she smells his food in the am (which is gross, yeah, but the doors are open and that's just life if you have a pet) she will heave and walk away."
She even retches at dry biscuits‽‽
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Well, it gets worse.
"Her dad and I both told her if she's unhappy with it she needs to find someplace else to live and although we are genuinely sorry she's lost her appetite and has lost weight we aren't going to change Mango's lifestyle—she has yelled, cursed at us, cried, begged, etc, but no, we are NOT happy with Mango eating a vegan diet."
"We don't feed him cheap crap either, we feed him good quality cat food that isn't processed or full of sugar or grain. It's pretty much gourmet Gordon Ramsey worthy cat food."
Yikes... seems like a little much, no?
But the stepdaughter is so adamant, she's roped other family members into the fray.
"My [Mother-In-Law] (MIL) has waded in after my stepdaughter told her we were being unfair by refusing to let Mango go on her preferred diet for him, and is accusing us of being cruel and shortsighted."
"She says we are letting her get sick, and that Mango won't hurt from a change in diet but stepdaughter is hurting."
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Thankfully, several Redditors solved this one in seconds flat.
Cats literally can't be vegans.
"NTA. Veterinary nurse here. Cats are obligate carnivores, they absolutely need the taurine that only meat can provide. Cats cant thrive on a vegan diet. My mom is a pretty hardcore vegan and still feeds all her pets a species appropriate diet because she aware that's what they need to be the healthiest they can be." --PaigeS91
"... Cats cannot maintain acidic enough blood/urine on a non-meat diet. This can result in urinary crystals which are especially dangerous in male cats. They can be deadly..." --ExtraDebit
"NTA. What's crueler for the sake of animals, forcing an animal to consume a diet that will ultimately sicken and kill them, or feeding that animal high quality food made from other animals that would likely be killed regardless since the target animal needs meat to live? 🤔 Forcing an obligate carnivore to go vegan is one of the cruelest things I can imagine, and doing it for the sake of your own personal feelings is even more disgusting, in my opinion." --katniqp
"NTA. Also a Vet Nurse. Agreeing with this one. If your elderly cat is doing well on his food then don't change it. Perhaps feed him in an out-of-the-way place (e.g. laundry) if he is happy to eat there. Aside from that, your house, your cat, your rules. Don't like it vegan? Move out." --Shockingfox
"This. So much this. Cats NEED meat. The cat cannot change because his needs will not be met. She can choose to eat elsewhere in the house, and as a compromise if you need, perhaps not self feed the cat so she can just have to keep out of the way at specific times instead of all the time. NTA." --kronalgra
"'I love animals so much that I will force one to starve to death so I don't have to watch it eat meat!' - people who feed cats a vegan diet" --blackbirdbluebird17
"NTA. Pets can, and have, died when irresponsible owners force their dietary beliefs on them."
"Cats aren't made to be vegan. She is being unreasonable, plus it's your house - she shouldn't be making all these demands on you at all." --Elli_Khoraz
Obligate Carnivore: an animal that necessarily subsists on a diet consisting mainly of meat because it does not possess the physiology to digest vegetable matter—such animals may consume other materials (vegetable or mineral) for non-nutritional purposes
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But even without the biological imperative, OP's fellow Redditors were firmly on her side.
"Just reading this makes me sick of the girl."
"Poor cat if he becomes a vegan."
"NTA. This chick is the reason people hate Vegans" --CorrectSherbet5
"NTA. I was vegan for a while and know many vegans and all are able to be in a room while other people or animals are eating meat--it's nearly impossible to live a life in vegan isolation."
"Plus, if she gets sick just seeing Mango eat a dry biscuit, is buying vegan cat food really going to solve the problem?" --JeepersCreepers74
So there's at least one veganism debate that's easily settled.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*