Creative Commons license icon

therianthropy

Find Your Spirit Animal… Or Else!

Writer C.R. Grey has created a new fantasy series for young readers that’s described as “Drawing on the traditions of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials… a fantastical boarding-school adventure with steampunk sensibilities and political intrigue…” The first book in the Animas series, Legacy of the Claw, goes like this: In a world where everyone eventually hooks up with a non-human animal, known as a “kin”, in a spiritual connection known as an “animus bond”, 12-year old Bailey Walker fears that he will become an outcast if he doesn’t find his own kin soon.  But darker forces are at work in his world… forces that seek to enslave all the kin and destroy the power of animus forever. This new series is available now from Disney-Hyperion. Check it out over and Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2014 Disney-Hyperion

image c. 2014 Disney-Hyperion

Survey suggests furries 'think differently', but aren't crazy

Your rating: None Average: 5 (7 votes)

Recently published survey results suggest there is "little relationship between furries and clinical diagnoses of psychological dysfunction". However, those identifying more strongly as furries tended to report "particularly active, vivid and magical mental worlds", and furries (at ~4%) were "at least 2.25 times more likely to have Asperger's Syndrome" than the general population, even after controlling for different sex ratios.

Being furry was not associated with anxiety disorders or medical conditions; indeed, it was "marginally associated with psychological and relationship well-being" (B=.062-3, p=.083-.079). Furries identifying as therians did not differ from non-therian furries on measurements of most psychological conditions, well-being or health, but differed in several cognitive factors, and were more likely to have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder (B=.099, p=.008).

The survey was conducted at Anthrocon 2013 by the Anthropomorphic Research Project. Researchers gave 820 adult participants questions that "assessed symptoms frequently associated with clinical lycanthropy, as well as numerous scales which assessed various indicators of physical and psychological well-being", with the goal of "understanding why the furry fandom is so frequently associated with dysfunction in popular culture and lay theory".

Furry con surveyed on porn, fantasy, pets, politics & bronies

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (6 votes)

International Anthropomorphic Research Project logoResults have been released from an Anthropomorphic Research Project survey of 455 furs taken at Furry Fiesta 2013.

  • 78% of females and 96% of males report viewing furry porn. Both groups underestimated both figures by 8-12%.
  • Increasing furriness indicated a tendency to use fantasy for various purposes, including escapism, but didn't indicate blurring of reality, or an inability to have fun, self-motivate, fulfil needs, socialize, or cope with problems without fantasy.
  • Female furs had less sexual roleplay, owned less pornography, viewed it less frequently, and felt it had less influence on their joining the fandom. They also saw pornography as more openly discussed within the fandom.
  • Furries overestimated the positivity of both male and female furs towards furry porn: males tended to be positive or mixed, while over 20% of females had a negative view. 51% of furs preferred porn over general furry artwork; 17% had the opposite view. ~55% saw non-furry pornography in a negative light; some males only view furry porn.
  • Non-brony furs rated bronies less positively (50) than furries (79) or non-furs (61).
  • Furries are very liberal on social matters, but more moderate on economic topics.
  • Therians anthropomorphise animals more than non-therian furs; those strongly identifying as furries gave human characteristics to both regular and stuffed animals.

Around half of those participating chose to join the group's three-year longitudinal study.

On [adjective][species]: JM revisits Dr. Gerbasi's original studyNuka responds

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

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (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.

She Wanted Her Wings

We really can’t do better than the publisher’s notes at describing Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger. So here they are: “Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven.  So begins the tale of a postman who encounters a fledgling raven while on the edge of his route and decides to bring her home. The unlikely couple falls in love and conceives a child—an extraordinary raven girl trapped in a human body. The raven girl feels imprisoned by her arms and legs and covets wings and the ability to fly. Betwixt and between, she reluctantly grows into a young woman, until one day she meets an unorthodox doctor who is willing to change her.” According to Amazon, this hardcover illustrated novel will be coming to bookshelves and the Internet from Abrams ComicArts this May.


image c. 2013 Abrams ComicArts

Otherkin to feature in hour-long Logo 'What?!' documentary

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (4 votes)

As foreshadowed last year, Logo has bought distribution rights to an hour-long documentary on otherkin and therians from the UK's Zig Zag Productions (presumably no relation...):

The film promises to follow a teenager from Brunswick, Georgia, who believes he is a wolf, and is aiming to confirm this by changing his name legally to his wolf name, Shiro. It also introduces the viewer to a commune of ‘otherkin’ in upstate New York that includes a human ‘raccoon’ and ‘leopard’ in an “inter species poly-amorous relationship.”

The sixty-minute segment is to air in early 2013 as part of the What?! documentary series. Zig Zag is also negotiating distribution in other parts of the world. [O. Scribner]

Update (30 April): The documentary has been released.

Stalking Cat confirmed dead at 54

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (16 votes)

Stalking Cat (Dennis Avner)Dennis Avner, better known under his Native American name Stalking Cat, died November 5. He was 54.

OggyWolf and BlueCanary confirmed Stalking Cat's death with local officials. His body is being held in Tonopah morgue for his brother [tip: STrRedWolf]. No cause of death was stated, but some claim suicide.

A former U.S. Navy sonar technician, and programmer, Stalking Cat was famous for having had extensive cosmetic surgery to adopt the likeness of his totem animal, the tiger, in accordance with Huron traditions. His body modifications included a split lip, labret-based whisker-holding implants, dental surgery, and silicone injections. He was also extensively tattooed.

Stalking Cat was a guest of honor at Rainfurrest 2007, and appeared at CritterConDiego 3 in 2002.

More coverage: BME ModBlog (inc. interview) - East County Magazine [tip: Higgs Raccoon]

Review: 'The Man With Two Shadows', by Tristan Black Wolf

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

The Man With Two Shadows; cover by Selina VannTristan Black Wolf, a resident of Syracuse, NY, is a member of the Furry Writers’ Guild and of North American Fur, and has stories in both volumes to date of Allasso, the “publication dedicated to finding new experiences within anthropomorphic writing and art.” The Man With Two Shadows is his first novel.

Jeremiah Pym is a modern private investigator, not the stereotypical hard-boiled, trench-coated PI of fiction. He has a modern office and undertakes typical p.i. tasks, such as getting evidence on unfaithful spouses.

There are days when being a private investigator can feel a little awkward. When a woman comes to you, convinced that her husband is throwing away money on some other woman, you expect her to refer to the other woman as a ‘bitch.’ What would make this interview particularly interesting is that the bitch in question happened to be a greyhound. (p. 1)

Mrs. Lindenbaum is so happy that her husband has been spending his money on dog-racing gambling instead of a floozy that she pays Pym’s bill cheerfully. Pym’s next client is another matter, and where things start to become a little strange.

AuthorHouse, March 2012, trade paperback $19.95 (viii + 244 [+ 2] pages; on Amazon).

ARP survey: Furries vs. fursonas, therians, non-furs & artists

Your rating: None Average: 5 (7 votes)

Fursonas get furs "closer to norms"; unlike therians, most furs don't want to be "0% human".

International Anthropomorphic Research Project logoThe results are out for the ARP's Winter 2012 survey, held online and at Furry Fiesta 2012.

Researchers confirmed past survey results, while investigating:

  • personality differences between non-furs, furs and fursonas
  • furries' impressions of non-furry perceptions of the fandom
  • whether furs felt their fandom was distinct from anime
  • whether furries felt entitled towards content creators
  • whether certain fan activities were healthy or unhealthy
  • levels of pet ownership, vegetarianism, and association with animal rights causes
  • reasons for male-domination of and stigma towards the fandom
  • other differences between furries, non-furries and therians

The 32-country survey covered 1,098 adults (951 furs, 104 non-furs); 152 were therians.

'True Life' still keen to film furs, but Brits want therians

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

MTV's True LifeSince we last covered MTV's True Life, the show has taken footage of several furs, but is seeking more. From an email:

This is a docu-series to chronicle the real life of a Furry. We have no intention of showing Furries in a negative light but instead hope to dispel some of the media myths out there about them.

The renewed casting call was recieved with scepticism on the furrymedia LJ community.

Meanwhile, UK-based Zig Zag Productions (whose shows are often "factual entertainment") hopes to contact a more rarified group – therians and otherkin.

Mixed-venue survey delineates furries, therians, otherkin

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (5 votes)

Results for the Summer 2011 International Furry Survey led by Dr. Gerbasi and Nuka were released last month, and some are quite surprising. The study attracted 1940 participants (179 'non-furry'). 45% came from Anthrocon 2011; the rest filled out the survey online.

The same team ran an online survey last January, and a follow-up at Furry Fiesta 2011.

This survey swept in members of several related groups, most of whom saw themselves as distinct from furries. 74.4% of participants identified solely as furry, while 8.8% claimed to be therians and 4.7% otherkin. 3.6% felt they belonged to both furry and one of these groups.

Significant differences were found between furries and therians, and male and female furs.

MS Paint Adventures adds feline lifestyler to 'Homestuck'

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)
Nepeta Leijon (arsenicCatnip)

Cult comic MS PAINT ADVENTURES has INTRODUCED a feline troll – NEPETA LEIJON – in the latest arc of Homestuck.

Nepeta is depicted as a FURRY LIFESTYLER on steroids:

You prowl the wilderness for GREAT BEASTS, and stalk them and take them down with nothing but your SHARP CLAWS AND TEETH! You take them back to your cave and EAT THEM, and from time to time, WEAR THEIR PELTS FOR FUN.

"Teen werewolves" in San Antonio schools

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

A slow news day in San Antonio leads to coverage of teenage therians in Texas high schools.

Featured is the John Marshal "wolfpack" containing Wolfie Blackheart, previously covered after her experiments in taxidermy went public.

Therian calls Loveline; describes erotic side of furry

No votes yet

Furries have surfaced on syndicated radio call-in show Loveline. [thanks AshMCairo]

The caller, "Cly" [spelling uncertain], said the community includes therians (who "believe that their spirits used to be animals, and thus they keep acting like animals"), "normal" furries ("people who pick an animal who they really like and act like it") and fursuiters. She claimed to be all three.

Dog decpaitation sparks 4chan witch-hunt

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (4 votes)

The San Antonio Express-News has posted a follow-up to their original story about Wolfie Blackheart, a 18-year-old tail-wearing "werewolf" who wants to be a taxidermist.

Wolfie gained attention after the media heard how she removed a dead dog's head to boil and preserve it, as she has done with the heads of several other animals.

The new article talks more about the involvement of 4chan regulars, who tracked Wolfie down after seeing a picture of the severed head.

Placed under investigation by Animal Care Services and the San Antonio Police, Wolfie was ultimately cleared, as "the dog was already deceased at the time of the beheading."