A man was forced to break up with his vegan girlfriend when she ordered him to get rid of his much-loved cat - because it eats meat.
The 22-year-old shared his very modern tale of heartbreak on Reddit, revealing how torn he was about ending the seven-month relationship with his "amazing, super-compatible" 21-year-old girlfriend over her refusal to accept his "sweet and cuddly" feline pal.
He said that their relationship started well as he altered his lifestyle to fit with her staunch vegan beliefs.
"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 partner had similar cruelty-free values. Me, already being a pescatarian, had little difficulty transitioning to a fully plant-based diet," he wrote.
"My GF was proud of me for going cruelty-free and everything seemed well. We became 'the vegan couple' on our college campus."
But on the path of true love stood four floofy paws; the man's pet of three years, Mittens.
"I've had her for three years and I adore her. She's such a sweet and cuddly cat," he revealed.
"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.
The man shared how quarantine had intensified their relationship to the point that they started to talk about moving together, possibly even buying an apartment.
Then one night at her apartment, she dropped a bombshell on him.
"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," he wrote.
Stunned, the man refused to give up his pet, arguing that he had explored vegan pet food but Mittens' digestion issues ruled it out.
"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.
"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?'"
The couple argued, with the man stressing that his girlfriend should have raised the issue earlier in the relationship, before leaving to go home and "snuggle" with Mittens.
He said "the mood soured a bit" when she then sent him a link to a Reddit thread advocating for the extinction of domestic cats.
He then put the question to the internet, asking what he should do about his relationship.
Commenters said that it appeared his girlfriend was more about control than her principles.
"Your girlfriend is trying to manipulate you by lying about what veganism is," one person wrote.
"If she was truly concerned about animal cruelty she wouldn't advocate to make your cat homeless or put him down! Throw the whole girl out," they added.
The original poster later returned with an update on his love life and a photo of the cat that caused all the commotion.
"So, we broke up, obviously. I would never, ever give up my cat Mittens," he wrote.
"Many users said that this situation was about control, not veganism, and looking back, I do see a pattern of control on my GFs part. I was blind to it I guess."
He said there was some anger when he ended it with his girlfriend.
"I called my GF and said I was not willing to give up Mittens under any circumstances, and given the recent issues we'd had, and our incompatible views, I thought it was best that we parted ways," he revealed.
"I said she deserved a partner that shared her values. She then asked if we were breaking up, I said yes. There was some anger on her end but otherwise the situation actually went better than I expected."