Hey friends. Your furry, four-legged family members are natural carnivores. Cats and dogs eat meat. It's just the way of the world. And trying to force them into a vegan or vegetarian diet based on your personal food preferences is irresponsible.
But that didn't stop one woman from trying to get her stepmother to stop feeding her cat regular, animal-protein cat food. In this post on Reddit's "Am I the A-hole?" the stepmother is at her wits' end because her stepdaughter claims witnessing the cat eating non-vegan food makes her so sick that she's losing weight.
OP writes that her stepdaughter, "an educated young professional," is currently living at home. The stepdaughter has been increasingly "snappy and unhappy" with the way her father and stepmother live their lives.
She gets mad because they don't compost their waste, turn the lights off consistently when they leave the house, drive electric cars, or eschew dairy. "The list is endless," she says.
It's one thing to make these changes in your own life and encourage others to do the same, and it's another to snap at people for their choices on a daily basis. But anyway, the story continues.
OP's cat, Mango, is, in her words, "getting to be an old a-- 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." I love Mango.
But now, OP's stepdaughter insists they feed Mango vegan cat food "because seeing Mango eat meat makes her sick." According to OP, when they feed him in the kitchen, her stepdaughter will literally "throw up / retch / leave the kitchen" if she sees him eat meat.
She's lost some weight and claims seeing the cat eat is responsible for making her sick. "It’s not like we leave mess out," OP writes, "but even if she smells his food in the a.m. (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."
They've told her that if she's that unable to handle the cat being fed, she needs to find somewhere else to live. They aren't going to give vegan food to their cat — who has been eating meat his whole life and who has to eat meat because he is a cat — just because it makes her feel better.
According to OP, her stepdaughter has "yelled, cursed at us, cried, begged, etc." trying to get them to change the cat's diet. But they won't budge. Now, OP's mother-in-law thinks they're "being unfair by refusing to let Mango go on her preferred diet for him."
I have to say that this stepdaughter isn't doing much to dispel the "annoying, self-righteous vegan" stereotype. Yikes. And commenters were quick to back OP up.
"Veterinary nurse here," one person wrote. "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."
Another commenter warns, "Pets can, and have, died when irresponsible owners force their dietary beliefs on them." You, a human, can be as vegan as you want. But your cat (or dog) cannot thrive on a vegan diet.
One commenter asked some very pertinent questions: "If she cares about animals and the environment so much, why would she want to actually harm a cat by feeding it unsuitable food? Why does she have to be in the room while the cat is eating his meat?"
That last one! Why does she have to be there when the cat eats?! Is there only one room in this entire home? There's got to be a way for her to avoid sitting there and staring at the cat while it eats if doing so disturbs her so much.
This issue is clearly about her own assumed moral high ground over her dad and stepmother and not at all about doing the healthiest thing for the cat. I hope Mango continues to eat all the luxurious, meat-filled cat food he can fit in his cute cat belly.