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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 cruelty-free values. Me, already being a pescatarian, had little difficulty transitioning to a fully plant based diet. My GF was proud of me for going cruelty 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 bomb shell 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 hunt mice and eat meat, 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 meat 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 mad and said "how much flesh does your cat eat? How many animals died to make all that food? Would you be okay with that being human flesh?"

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 killing animals. I ended the conversation there. I was so angry 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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