Wild Ideas FAQ
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What about furries? Are they the same thing?
No, although there is some overlap between the two communities. The "furry" subculture originally developed as an outgrowth of science fiction and comic book fandom, not as a spiritual path.
Basically, it was, and still is for many, primarily about enjoying fiction and comic art depicting anthropomorphic animals, though for some people it's extended into developing a furry character or persona they can play at conventions and gatherings, in the way members of the Society for Creative Anachronism have a mediaeval persona.
Where it has developed in a direction that sometimes touches on therianthropy is in the area of the "furry lifestyle" espoused by some, as opposed to simple fandom. Basically, that means bringing elements of one's interest in anthropomorphic animals into the rest of one's life and identity. Since that involves identifying with an animal on an ongoing basis, there's a point where it can overlap somewhat with therianthropy, and some people who perhaps would have been more at home in the therian community may have ended up in the furry lifestyle community just because it's what they encountered first.
The biggest difference would be the way that the animals tend to be envisioned. Furry art and fiction deals with anthropomorphic - that is, human-shaped or human-like - animals, and frequently depicts them in a markedly cartoonish and cute manner. Most therianthropes, apart from being less concerned with fiction and art and more with personal exploration, tend to visualize their animals more realistically, and definitely not as cute and cuddly.
There's also an aspect of the furry scene which has veered off in a markedly sexual direction, which can involved sexual attraction to stuffed animals and cartoon characters, but that is far off topic for this list. lt may, however, explain some of the negative reaction even non-sexually-oriented furries get from therians and - well, a lot of other people too.
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