What is Family?
A family in the traditional sense is a group of people who are connected through genetics or sharing children together. The family is the old and the new. It is the continuation of one generation to the next. Humans are originally tribal.A tribe would have been built by a few families that would each be responsible for taking care of and protecting the whole, often for the sake of the weaker younger children. This meant that it made sense for those of the same blood to band together to ensure the survival of the species. Unlike other animals, humans take many years to reach adulthood, let alone learn all the skills necessary to survive.
The traditional family model has changed significantly over the decades. Once considered a mum, dad and 3.2 children, the modern family definition is essentially any grouping based on love, including same sex couples, single parents, a group of like-minded friends and any variety of people and their pets aka fur babies.
It is not uncommon for people who have either lost or are underwhelmed with their own natural family to create family structures of their own. This can be between a group of like minded people who are trying to do the same things and would protect each other as much or even more than if they were bound by blood.
When trying to understand the concept of pets as family members, one needs to look no further than the mourning (and associated funerals) that occur when pets pass on. The tears are real and the feelings are identical to those felt when a human dies.
A family is what you make of it and like our friends we can choose who to accept into our own family orbits.