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Video: 'What?!: I think I'm an Animal' documentary released

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (8 votes)

Logo have published their therian documentary (41:47; YouTube), covered here in January.

Producers followed and interviewed several teenagers and young adults (and their parents), including the crew of FurCast and an otherkin forum administrator, Shiro Ulv.

In a poll of 120 therians/otherkin, a majority appear dissatisfied with the piece; fully 80% felt it was only slightly accurate, or not at all. The same proportion took issue with the inclusion of furries (including various fursuiters) in the documentary.

Similar numbers saw it as important for therians/otherkin to educate the public about themselves; however, views were mixed on participation in television documentaries. Most (83%) favoured the idea of therians/otherkin creating their own documentary.

Luna (Kimberly) explained her motivation for participation, and the filming experience:

… the reason why we choose to do it was for all the awakening kin out there that think they are alone. I had a feeling I would get a lot of flack from the otherkin community for doing this, which is fine as I didnt do it for them. I just wanted to say that my experience with the production team was that they asked very respectful and insightful questions, they were genuinely interested and never did anything my husband and I were not comfortable with.

Read more: Reactions on the Werelist forum

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Logo was made because of mainstream media misrepresenting a group of individuals.

Congratulations Logo on going mainstream?

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I saw it a few days ago I found they used the word therian way wrong seemed more like a furry documentary to me no to mention serious species bias 3 wolfs what about dragons

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (6 votes)

I didn't think it was that bad until the whole "furry is a subculture of therian" proclamation came up. Boy did they get that one wrong. Very wrong.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Well if you were worried the show was not distinguishing therian and furries enough, the point may be moot. Looks like one "normal" person's review said it plainly, and harshly:

"What Have We Learned? There may be a difference between therians, the title Timothy and Steven claim, and Furries. I still don't want to hang out with either."

http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-prospectus/post/_/id/75646/freak-show-te...

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (6 votes)

I liked the whole video, it ought to be fascinating to the range of viewers who have seen animal people wearing collars and tails and wondered from a distance what it was all about. Even if a Furry isn't connected with the Otherkin scene, they can just politely explain that if someone asks.

Yeah, I'm trying to think where they got the idea that Furry was a subculture of Therian.. Maybe if you go from the idea that Furry has a base in something larger that people feel in their connection with animals, things we might all feel if we're more in touch with nature, then Furry might seem to be specific manifestation of that connection. If you look at Furry as a modern fandom around anthropomorphic animals, and Therian ideas and practices going back thousands of years with native peoples, I can see where they could come to that conclusion.

I liked Luna's statement above, that she's willing to accept negativity from the Otherkin community since she didn't go on the show for their benefit, she did it to reach out to others, that there are more who feel like this. I guess it happens everywhere, I had similar flac from a few old-line Furs who didn't like me going on the news with my name change story a few years ago.

It was great to see Shiro in the video and get to know him a little better. I'd barked to him before about name changes and what he did with his petition, and now I got to see it.

I had a similar situation with my parents and school, where it was kind of funny to act like a Dog early on, but later people were concerned and wanted me to put away the fun and games for more adult things. I got into some pretty big struggles over it, running away a couple of times for a day and things like that.

I also barked with my parents about changing my name to one or another Dog names I had, but it was more on a playful level, like when my dad's name change would come up or something. My dad went for a more Americanized name instead of his Italian sounding name, something that was brought up over the years when his old friends would call and use his given name.

Ahh parents.. Mine had to adapt to me being Canine too, they had to give in to it, and I think they could see that it made me happier to be a Dog, and to have something. I didn't have to search as much and find myself in jail or in an abusive relationship, that I had a pride and sense of concern for 'my Dog'. I'd like to think my parents accepted the compromise in some way. Dad would yell at me about my ways, then go, 'Oh well, at least you aren't going out and getting drunk every night'.

I liked those guys doing the radio show, I did high school basement radio with a Dog theme, and now an underground show with a Furry friend too, so that was especially interesting. It would be cool to know what that show is, I'd like to tune in. Impressive studios too, they even have wind screens on their mics!

All in all a great show, thanks to all the participants and Logo for taking on the topic!

Boomer

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

I've talked to Shiro, and he's very nice. As for the documentary itself, I'm going to watch this tomorrow in full before having a full opinion on it. I've heard mostly disappointed things from it, but frankly I'm surpsised they had their hopes up in the first place, haha.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

"Sorry, this video is unavailable from your location." (Australia)

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Yes, it seems not to be available from Canada either, or possibly anywhere but the USA. Hopefully the YouTube link I provided is not similarly encumbered.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

It works... for now at least.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (8 votes)

Absolutely awful.
And for true spiritual therians (not sissy people who bark like a idk-what and think they're somehow gay wolves or what not even though they don't act like said species properly whatsoever, even if they wanted to), all this does is bring more false cases of people wanting I'm-species-I'm-a-dog-lol-look-at-me, forcing real cases to find it harder to sift through the massive piles of utter bullshit. You have that with the furry fandom with autozoophiliacs confusing the fandom as a sex culture. People don't need to know this shit. It's like making a documentary on how certain people's shits are runnier than others. It's pathetic and the media only do it for shock-attention. I seriously hope this doesn't bring twilight-loving pansies to pretending they are somehow "therian".

Being therian in the literal sense is not a motherfucking game.

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

Jesus Christ I am sick and tired of elitist therians/otherkin. You realize even your so-called "true spiritual" therianthropy sounds just as fuck-nut as the people you're acting condescending toward, right? You sound like a goddamned idiotic YEC Christian telling Evolutionists they aren't real Christians. You need to stop.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

Being therian has its cons and it's not something to parade about either (that's obviously just for look-at-me-im-a-special-snowflake level attention seeking). If you want to just pretend you're an animal, that's not therian, that's roleplaying. Therianthropy brings issues with shifting and it's hard enough finding a real fellow therian without all these people crushing out communities pretending like hurr durr im a wolf woof woof yip miaow rawr, like my collar? (wtf, wolves don't even wear collars or make half the sounds used in the context) Why don't you understand this? And you call real therianthropy "fuck nut"? You and the like are just beyond arrogant.

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (2 votes)

I said that it looks fuck-nut. I'm a therian by the way. Please tell me more about how your nonhuman self-belief brings you so much trouble.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Finally got around to watching it. I got told the video wasn't available but I was able to get it in six parts. The first two were quite a struggle, I'm seldom exposed to that much explicit denial of reality. Or maybe I'm just used to the religious variety. After that it got a bit easier but still left me amazed at what some people actually believed.

Some things were a bit interesting and others were just quite amusing. In the amusing category I'm counting the mispronunciation of gemsbok. The "g" has a guttural throat sound as the name is Afrikaans (a recent offspring from Dutch. Also I'm given to understand the proper English name is Oryx, which actually caused me to pause and look it up though it seems either is acceptable with Oryx being the generic name.

One part that disappointed me, apart from the confusion between therians and furs, was that it again had to go back to sex. I found that unnecessary and, coupled with the random incidents of barking and howling, left me struggling to take it very seriously.

Of course to me the most annoying part was the unquestioning way in which they seemed to accept the entire concept. They didn't once speak to a sociologist or psychologist who could have something to say about where those beliefs might stem from and their relationship, if any, to gender dysphoria. Furthermore, and perhaps due to the general free pass given to beliefs, they didn't bother to address the factual likeliness of it. That the whole concept can't be reconciled with all current science, that there is no reason to believe they are really animals, that spirits exist, how, if they existed, they would be created and assigned to bodies and how it would be possible for one to inhabit the wrong body.

While perhaps a fairer treatment than furs have been given I found it poorly researched, unnecessary sensationalist at times and totally uncritical of ideas that contradict our entire understanding of the world.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

[...] about where those beliefs might stem from and their relationship, if any, to gender dysphoria.

My experience has been, people with sex dysphoria don't like it when people with species dysphoria try to link the two things. And since people with sex dysphoria face far more troubles in society I can see why they would rather be taken seriously.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

I noticed that, those country restrictions on viewing the video were annoying to so many viewers who weren't in the States and wanted to see it. That's one reason that Y'tube and torrents exist, though I can understand why they'd want to block it in countries it hasn't aired yet, in theory so that it doesn't impact the producer's revenue stream.

Maybe you are a younger Fur Rakeun, I've run across folks who will believe almost anything at any time. I'm a Pyrenean Shepherd Dog, but also of the 'Eccentric' species, so I tend to hang with those who have open minds about lots of stuff, so it's not that unusual to me what others believe. I did kind of do a double take at the guy I found out about a few weeks ago. He wants to be a feminine hygiene pad and legally change his name to Pad..

I did watch a few minutes of the doc at first and was kind of shy of it, but I see animal behavior on a regular basis after all, and there it was on TV. Later when I had time I went back and watched it all. I'd rather see the reaction of someone who maybe never considered animal people like this, then they watched the show and gave a review.

I've heard other Furries bark and howl, and I bark too! I can go to libraries and movies and know I shouldn't bark there, but when I'm in a relaxed and loose atmosphere I do what comes naturally. If someone asks me to, I'll bark for them, and I do it on my radio show too, though that's part of being on the air.

I was getting kinda tired of other Furry documentaries that always brought in the paid expert, others have said that it seemed like the same doctor was called on, always filmed in the office, sitting at their desk. It's common on these shows to have the expert show up when someone has an unusual belief or lifestyle.

Now that you brought it up, I was happy to see that they didn't go to an expert and just let the subjects speak or bark for themselves, it's refreshing. I'm not opposed to the experts, just that I always wished that they had something more meaningful to say, but then again, the experts aren't really given camera time for a deeper response. I think that the expert is there as a kind of an assurance to the audience that someone is 'looking after these people', but here in this doc the subjects had their parents in that role.

I liked that this documentary just put the story out there and let it sit, so you can think for yourself what you want about it. I think that's a better way to do it, instead of trying to tie up most of the loose threads or explain it away as some kind of a psych thing in their noggin. Shouldn't a real documentary have an interesting enough subject that the story can tell itself? It's something for the filmmakers to capture, and not have to explain or embellish later.

Granted, these shows are like a documentary/reality TV hybrid in a way, with limited filming time, so they have to condense someone's day or the animal behaviors they have into short bites, and it has to be visual and active. The subjects might not wear their collars in all situations or bark every day, but they do it sometimes, and that's what the producers would want to show. I take it as an overview of what makes Therians special, not a slice of life.

Gender dysphoria could be involved, but I also think, as in my experience, that in feeling like another animal, your mind is on that identity, and not gender as much, and not developing a strong gender, at least the social role part of it. If you're thinking about why you're a wolf and how you relate to the world as one, you might not be as self conscious about your own gender role, or attuned to all of the nuances in the genders of others.

That could be compounded if you hang with Therian friends or have a mate who is one too and is similar to yourself in animal beliefs. I was a Dog before I knew of Furries and animalkin and whatnot, so my friends were 4-legged Dogs and I thought mostly about them, in an anthropomorphic social system that I came up with. That alone can toss out highly gendered thinking, or at least attenuate it.

To me, 'I Think I'm An Animal?' was better than most of the Furry documentaries, and I think it could have talked about Furries and how Otherkin relate even more. Maybe they could have had a graphic on the whole spectrum of animal people and how they relate. I think it's fair to say that some Therians want to indulge their animal sides by donning costumes, as an Otherkin might dress as a dragon if they wanted to. I can't see that it affects your sincerity if you want to have a little playfulness with what you are. I think it's okay for Furries to cross the lines and feel their Therian or feral side too, if they have one

Who is the 'our' in your last paragraph? I know lots of folks use that wording, but maybe it's good to think about how that might create walls between groups, where we could all be enjoying each others weirdness and having fun.

Boomer

Your rating: None

I know people that bark and howl. I've probably done it myself a few times. I also have a collar and tail. However I'd say that's just for fun and depends what's going on. I don't see it particularly adding to the documentary other than to make the people seem even more strange and different, which is odd when presumably the aim would be to educate.

I suppose it's possible to have a show without the experts on but in a situation like this I find it an issue because this isn't just a small thing. The parents have no idea what is going on, and neither would most viewers, so the role of the expert here is to put it in context and say what we know from a more objective perspective. I think part of that is emphasising the implausibility of the idea.

Here I do want to draw the distinction again between acceptance of people and their ideas. Therians seem pretty much harmless. Whatever their beliefs they aren't causing problems for anyone so that's cool. That doesn't mean that we must just uncritically accept their beliefs though, which don't exist on their own but in a framework of what we already know about the world. In the case of therians leaving them with their beliefs is fairly harmless but in other cases, like homeopathy, when those beliefs go unquestioned it leads to people suffering and dying because people believe things that are just not true.

Things like alternative medicine are readily accepted and beliefs get too free of a pass in public discussion. I think it would be good to bring up the criticisms of the idea, especially because the public does not always have the knowledge to judge it for themselves.

For example, a question that would have been interesting to ask them, it sounds like you're a therian so maybe you'd like to weigh in, why there are all these people claiming animal souls and memories of being an animal yet I'm not aware of any therian ever using that to expand our knowledge. Surely therians should be able to explain all sorts of things about animal behaviour and how they live and yet that hasn't happened. At times they don't even match their animal. For example there was the leopard guy running around. Sure it's fun but leopards don't just run around like that so it's not being like the animal at all.

I should clarify what I meant about relationship to gender dysphoria. I didn't mean to say that theirans have any sort of gender issues but about what similarities and differences there were between people who felt like they were in the wrong species and those who felt they had the wrong gender.

The 'our' meant mankind in general but more specifically scientists (particularly in terms of physics and biology).

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

"For example, a question that would have been interesting to ask them, it sounds like you're a therian so maybe you'd like to weigh in, why there are all these people claiming animal souls and memories of being an animal yet I'm not aware of any therian ever using that to expand our knowledge. Surely therians should be able to explain all sorts of things about animal behaviour and how they live and yet that hasn't happened. At times they don't even match their animal. For example there was the leopard guy running around. Sure it's fun but leopards don't just run around like that so it's not being like the animal at all."

Ah, someone sees sense, at least.

Your rating: None

For TV you'd have to show what makes Therians different, what makes them stand out, but I could see the first impression it would make, that they all wear collars always, or that when a viewer sees someone wearing a collar, they think they are a Therian. I don't personally know anyone else who wears their collar even most of the time.

One way they could get into the nuances is to have a longer documentary that slowly reveals it like a storybook, starting with something like animal totemism, or that earlier societies were more in touch with nature, and build to Therian beliefs from there.

I can see your point about getting a doctor's opinion, I just thought they might not want to confuse the issue and upstage what the parents were thinking about their own kids. Also I think the doctor is a cliche with shows like this, and it was refreshing that they got away from it this time.

I'm almost sure the parents don't know the depth of what their kids are into, as you said, but then again they might not want to know. That's the stance my parents took, they saw it as a problem when I wanted to be a Dog, and my dad would say to grow up and things like that, but they didn't really want to know about my inner world.

I might be a Therian, I seem to have some of the characteristics, but I really haven't studied it that much. I was wearing my Dog tag and drawing anthro Dog creatures, so a friend directed me to the Furry scene.

I didn't know about Therians at the time, but there was a Were society and Zoo groups I checked out, but I didn't make too many connections with those. Weres gave the impression of being so serious and not as happy at their plight, where I'm an more of an upbeat pup. Zoos seemed to have a closer bond with their animals, and with that bond, sometimes feeling and thinking like their animal would, but there was so much in-fighting and little real discussion of deeper meanings.

I think it can take a while to learn how to use your knowledge. I can see those guys in the documentary as being in 'Therian school' right now, and they have to be students before they can be teachers. It's already enough to grow up thinking you're a different animal and try to figure that out, then the knowledge settles in and you can think about what to do with it.

One story I remember, there was an autistic woman (I don't care about the label, but the story was about her asperger's) and she advising the feed animal industry on more humane practices. She said she saw things the way the animal would, so she advised farms and the cattle industry on how to set up the animals environment better. The way the article put it, she was doing it by taking on the role and mindset of the animal.

I'd think that gender and species dysphoria would relate, since they deal with matters of identity. You'd have to know where someone is coming from and do a study on it to get an answer to that one I'd think.

Boomer

Your rating: None

Being a furry who has dabbled in totemism, they definitely did get the parts about furries wrong, however the general basis of therians seemed alright. My only note is on that one kid who said he was a blue and orange wolf or whatever though in the beginning... that's not Therian, that's otherkin. Therian is identifying as a creature that has existed in this realm, where as otherkin is having a kinship with something that you see yourself as that may be mythical or not of this realm.

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.