It’s not unusual for family photos to include the family dog, but as families in the photo have become less traditional, the dog has taken on new significance. A recent poll by Pew Research found that about half of U.S. pet owners consider their pets “as much a part of their family as a human member.”
Those living with a partner but not married were the most likely to say this, at 65%, followed by those never married, non-parents, and then those divorced or separated. Those married and those with children were the least likely to place pets on par with people.
Pets can be awesome. However, putting them on par with humans not only humanizes pets, but de-humanizes people. It’s notable how the presence and committed family love between real human beings corrects that bad idea for people. It’s also notable that as much as we appreciate the affection of Fido, when we need to be cared for, only a person and not a pet will do.
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