Near the Old Man of Storr, Scotland I took this in 2004

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Family isn't so nuclear anymore

A new topic: I have 545 signatures to date on my petition urging the Canadian government to include animal rights in the constitution!

Also, something to chew on: the term "family" is only ever extended to those with children, but never to those who choose other forms of family. I have a cat, and she's obviously my family, but rarely would non-cat lovers see that point.

Some people I know have chosen to not have children but instead have a dog: their baby. And until I mentioned /thought of it the other day to my friend, who is relatives to the guy in the duo, who also had not ever seen it,I realized that that couple is not regarded as a family, by their larger family , and society, by virtue of the fact that they don't have kids. They are 'only' seen as a couple, not a family, even though they share their lives and home together.

In other words, they are seen as less important, because they have chosen not to procreate, and their chosen family is not validated.

It's time we start recognizing all forms of families. From two people who share their lives sans anyone else, to one person and the animals s/he is lucky enough to share it with too.

These ways of viewing the world seeing family as meaning 2.5 kids and a husband and wife are discriminatory, stupid, limiting and unfair. And should be relegated to the past.

Family is who you choose to love and spend your life with formally or informally, so this includes best friends, the furry kinds and the not-as-furry people kinds, and partners and spouses, and close friends.

When it dawned on me, the other day, that the family with the dog was a) a family! and b) actually not seen as such I felt both angry and triumphant, for realizing that I've have been seeing the world through the old paradigm for way too long as well, hence my just waking up to see that, yes relationship, home= family, and then triumphant for realizing it and telling my friend who had to stop and think about it too. I don't know if it moved him as deeply as it did me, but for me it's about seeing animals as deeply sentient and important beings, and furthermore, it's about recognizing people's valid life choices.

By not recognizing that fam as such we are saying " the only valid life choices are marriage and children, thank you very much."

Well, fuck you ancient, oppressive paradigm.

Family is who you love with and live with!