Furry

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Synonyms: furrydom, furridom, fur fandom, furdom, furries, anthros
See also: otherkin, cosplay, Role-Playing Game, yiff
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Furry fans focus on anthropomorphic animal characters, such as those in Redwall, The Lion King, Avatar, or Zootopia. A furry may identify with an anthropomorphized animal persona they create for themselves (a 'fursona') or may simply enjoy artwork and material culture produced by the fandom.

The furry fandom is unique; whereas most fandoms originate with a movie, television show, book, or even a band, furries focus solely on animals. A furry needs no special content in order to identify with the fandom, though furry content can still be based on media. One who draws them self as a lion is the same as one who draws them self as a lion from The Lion King.

A furry is an anthropomorphic animal, that is an animal having some of the characteristics of a human; like being able to walk on two legs, speak human languages, use tools etc. Many cartoon characters are furries: Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, etc. And they make frequent appearances in childrens' literature such as the works of Beatrix Potter. They are not just a recent phenomenon either; furries also appear in Shakespeare and Aesop's fables, and in darker works like The Island of Dr. Moreau, Animal Farm, and every werewolf novel written. Fans of furry art & literature often refer to themselves as furries too. Online they typically assume furry identities, and have furry characters on role-playing systems like MUDs/MUCKs. For some of these furries, there is a deeper connection that goes beyond appreciation of artwork and stories. This can include concepts such as totemism and spiritual theriantropy. Whatever fuels their fascination with these animal-human hybrids, furries often have social gatherings - sharing stories, ideas, and art and generally having fun.[1]

Furry fanworks include Fanart, Original Fiction, Fan Fiction, Costumes and Cosplay including the iconic Fursuit.

The Furry Survey covers issues such as human vs. animal identification and zoophilia. Many other fans are squicked by the furry identification and sexualization of animals: this is explicitly demonstrated by putting them on the bottom of a graphic from 2002: The Geek Hierarchy.

One Fan's Personal Explanation

Strictly speaking, furry fandom is a social circle – a group of people come together through their interest in funny animal comics and animation.

Oh yes, the furry phenomenon has antecedents, and feeds from some branch-stream of the universal subconscious. One can cite classical mythology, traditional folk-tales, fable, lycanthropy, children’s lit, hunting magic, totemism, and animal stories. We have always lived with animals, and thought about them. It would be surprising if there were no other anthropomorphism than ours.

But funny animals are specialized critters. Furries draw their imagery from a common background of Saturday morning cartoons and comic books, and have imbued these images with meanings that could only arise from growing up in the boomer years. We don’t communicate with animal spirits, wonder how we will be reincarnated next on the wheel of life, believe other creatures exist only for our moral instruction, or beseech animal patrons to feed our tribe. Most of us, anyway. In California, not everyone has all four corners of their tent pegged down…

The point is, we are NOT ancient Greeks, Amerinds, feudal peasants, Hindus, or Druids. We do NOT think of animals as these people did, even those of us who think we do. We don’t. We didn’t live their lives. We lived OUR lives, and therefore add a spin of our own to the eternal study of those other beings who inhabit our planet.

All the same, before furry fandom there were furries – artists and fans such as myself who drifted into either science fiction or comics fandom. Most of us knew the others for what we were, furries at heart, but there lacked a center of gravity and sense of group identity. [2]

Types of Furries

The majority of furries identify with bipedal mammals. There are, however, other categories of furries. Scalies for example are a subclass of furry, identified by being based on reptiles. There are also ferals and quadrupeds. Ferals and quadrupeds may often be interchangeable when speaking, but they are two different things. Feral furries are more true to real animals. Someone can, in fact, have a fursona that doesn't speak nor walk bipedal, and still identify as a furry. Ferals can also walk on twos, but have the mind of an animal, similar to traditional werewolves. A quadruped is a type of furry that simply walks on all fours like a natural animal, and it may speak like a human. Essentially, a feral can be a quadruped, but not all quadrupeds are ferals.

Some furries are based on aquatic species, as well as amphibians. These kinds of furries generally do not have a special title, as Scalies do. Because the bodies of the aquatic species must adhere to the form of a humanoid shape (in most cases), the outcomes can be interesting. Common aquatic furries are orca whales and sharks.

There are also mixed species and original species. Mixed species simply mix together the anatomy of two or more animals, such as rabbits and sheep. Original species become more complicated. An original species is an art form in which one or more artists design their own "species" of animal (or sometimes human), to be either made freely, or sold as adoptables. It's uncommon to find fursonas of original species, however there are plenty of characters and roleplays made with original species.

Gallery

In Canon

Fan Works

One example of a proto-furry club

cover of the second issue of a furry fanzine, Tali Visions
Example of a proto-furry club:
The Cartoon/Fantasy Organization (also known as C/FO) is a Los Angeles, California club primarily for the discussion and enjoyment of Japanese animation which has held monthly meetings, usually on the third Saturday, from May 1977 to the present day. Several of the founding members of the furry fandom are or were also C/FO members, notably Mark Merlino and Fred Patten, two of C/FO's own founders. The club's mascot Fanta is a furry character, specifically one of the first three Skiltaire created in the late 1970s by Merlino. Southern California furry fandom began in the Los Angeles chapter of C/FO in the early 1980s, as several of the members were more interested in what would later be called "furry" than the fantasy giant robots that dominated anime at the time. These proto-furries would hold impromptu furmeets in the anteroom, swapping info on critters/comics/artists while the proto-otaku watched away in the screening room. The C/FO as an international club was disbanded in 1989. Most of the remaining chapters became independent anime clubs with new names, leaving the Los Angeles chapter to reclaim the name as "the" C/FO. It has remained a local Los Angeles anime club since then, with no connection to furry fandom except to move its meetings from third Saturdays to other Saturdays when necessary to avoid conflicts with major furry conventions which many C/FO members will attend. [3]

Furry fanzines

See also Wiki Fur's list of fanzines.

Communities

Meta/Further Reading

External Links

References

  1. Furnation
  2. Furry 101
  3. The Cartoon Fantasy Organization