Humans have always admired animals. They feature in religions, in our entertainment, in our language. Humans have given animals human traits and humans animal traits. Anthropomorphism is the assignation of human traits to animals. It is found in our entertainment…Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid, Bugs Bunny, and others. In religions both old and new, animals are featured throughout…either as a deity or as a helper to a deity. the idea that divinity embodies itself in animals, such as a deity incarnate, and then lives on earth among human beings was discounted by the Christian religion but does exist in others. Zoomorphism can today be found in Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and many of the Native American and Aboriginal peoples practice Totemism. In our language, Sly as a fox, strong as an ox, someone can be a mean dog, nervous as a cat. Animals permeate our culture.
Furries, or those who admire and embody animal traits really are no different. They find that their furry persona, or fursona, is a part of them, is a manifestation of traits that they carry within them. Their Fursonas show the world that which is within them. It is not necessarily a religion, or a way to get love, or even a way to say “hey look at me”, it is a manifestation of a trait that they feel is best embodied in an animal.
Many think that it is a way for a shy, nerdy person who is uncomfortable in social situations to become more social, that they “hide” behind their chosen animal. There are those who think it is a way to have kinky sex or that they are gay and can have anonymous sex. The Furry world is very accepting of others and they do seem to be more opened minded than most, but there is behavior that is not tolerated. Most of the Furries I have talked to and through research, harming animals is NOT ok. THat includes having sex with animals, they feel it is illegal immoral and abusive to animals. Are there those who think it is ok. Yes there is. As there is throughout society period. There are always those who are engaged in what most would think of as deviant behavior, no matter what group. The majority of Furries are not those people.
In the survey I asked:
Many folks think that Furries dress up or become a character because they are socially inept, they are the withdrawn, shy, folks who have inability to connect socially? Is this true? Why or why not?
“I think there are some that are like this, but definitely not the majority. The suits make it easier to hide and not be yourself–thus the shy, disconnected people are able to connect and feel like they are not invisible.” ~ RT
“I do not think this is true. Many do it for fun and smiles. Some do not. My mate for example her fursuit character is quiet and rather shy. Why would someone want to be shy in suit if they want to be able to connect socially. A lot of suiters are good actors and tend to be the “life” of the party also when not in suit. They just have that contagious personality. Is there some that suit for this reason? I’m sure. I suit to try to become “wolfylion” and i get to see smiles and reactions on people. And to sweat a lot.” ~ Wolfylion
“they have a point, i think fursuiting is a way to freely express ones self, like acting, or halloween. it can be either a escape, or a release, it all depends on the person!” ~Shuga!
It seems that some are those who rely on their Fursona to become another, visually, in order to be themselves. It seems it would be a way to connect with others. Much like those who dress up at Comic Con or learn to speak Klingon at Star Trek conventions or even those who got to the premier of a Harry Potter or a Twilight Movie, a common interest allows them to open up and meet new people without fear of rejections. My question was deliberately slanted towards those who do identify with a persona and it is only fair to say that there are just as many who do not dress up or even identify with a Fursona at all. They are just fans. Just as not everyone who goes to a Batman premiere or goes to Comic Con identifies with being batman or another character nor do they dress up as such. The commonality of the event or the subject makes it easier to interact with one another. Really, isn’t that something we all look for?