I think, therefore I am (a furry)
Something struck me recently. Not literally of course. I am not dedicating two month’s worth of furry internet journalism to illness (despite a recent cold). What I want to discuss this week is what makes the average furry tick - why do we choose the fursona we come up with, how we express ourselves, and so on.
This thought occurred to me when I was watching a documentary series broadcast on the British TV network ITV1 recently. Called Martin Clunes: A Man and His Dogs, it was a programme which looked at the relationship between people and their pet dogs. In the first episode, presenter Clunes looked at the history of dogs and how they evolved from wolves and dingoes. The thing that got my attention at first was when it was mentioned that dogs are around 99.8%. Then I started to think, “Why then do I associated more with wolves, when the difference between them and dogs is so slight?”
As the programme went on, it was mentioned that wolves liking the cold, which I do, but it also said that wolves live in a strict, regimented society with every wolf in the pack knowing their place, with the position being the most important thing to them. I myself am not found of such restrictions. The only other thing I know about wolves (thanks to my friends at QI) is that all wolves are left-pawed, which indeed I am.
I think, personally, the main reason I am attracted to wolves as a fursona is that they are wild animals. The idea of freedom and being able to do as I wish is the thing that I most want. Therefore, it is not a normal wolf, but a lone wolf which tends to appeal more to me.
As these series of documentaries went on, it talked about how humans have breed dogs to our advantage, and to an extent against their advantage. Pedigree dogs are more likely to get illnesses. For example, many bulldogs are bred with heads which are too big. Around half of pedigree bulldogs are born by caesarean section. One scene that spoke out to me was when Clunes went into a shop which catered towards pet accessories, such as clothes for dogs. I think that putting clothes on actual animals is a stupid idea and moronic. However, what was more idiotic was when the owner of the shop said that one request that she often gets from customers is vegetarian dog food. Dogs are carnivores! They eat meat! What sort of ill-educated yiffers own dogs these days?
But then again, that also got me thinking. I know there are some furries who adopt a fursona which is of a carnivorous animal, but the person themselves is a vegetarian or even vegan. It seems odd that these people do not pick an herbivore fursona, but I cannot speak for these people.
Apart from the fursona, there are other things that drive the furry mind. The main thing that is mentioned is sex. It is true to say that there is quite a bit of yiff in the fandom. However, if we furries are so obsessed with it, then how come most furries do not select fursonas of animals that are sexually charged or vibrant in real life? Bonobos (aka, Pygmy chimpanzees) are possibly the most sexually active animals on Earth. If they see anything out of the ordinary, the mate. They do just about all forms of sexual intercourse – virginal, anal, oral and so on. However, I have never seen any furry with a bonobo fursona, and there very rarely furries who have apes, chimps or monkeys as their fursona.
They are not the only sexual animal which rarely appears in the furry fandom. There are many others, such as:
- European earwigs – The males have a spare penis.
- Honey possums – The males have the largest testicles relative to their size of any animal on Earth.
- Barnacles – They are mostly hermaphrodites, with penises seven times the length of their shells.
- Fruit flies – Their sperm is 5.7 centimetres long. (They do have a low sperm count however: One).
- Blue whales – The males have penises 16 feet long.
- Snails – Hermaphrodites that have “Love darts”, which are mating organs which pregnancy, but can cause injury.
There are some sexual animals that are more commonplace. For example, lions make love 50 times a day. However, each round of intercourse only lasts four seconds, which is something I can see not being mentioned during furry role-playing. Another sexual animal that crops up more often is the kangaroo, the female of which has three vaginas, but I cannot recall seeing a picture of an anthropomorphic kangaroo with the correct number.
Why is then we tend to take the same animals then? There are plenty of pictures of naked horses with their long cocks, but I’ve never seen a yiffy drawing of a barnacle (perhaps because there is not enough room). I guess it is because that it is hard to anthropomorphise snails and fruit flies – although honey possums would probably be easier.
Another reason might be because the furry fandom is a very visual movement. It is most concerned with art, and there are not that many drawings of earwigs. Writing might be an easier way to get around it. It is a bit like radio, when they say it is, “The most visual medium”. However, how many people know what a barnacle looks like?
I therefore think that it is almost impossible to say what the average furry thinks about, because the fandom is so diverse. There are so many fursonas, many of which are crossbreeds of different animals. It is hard to say what would make a furry think that the fursona that suits them is a cross between a dragon and a cat. Maybe it is best to just let people think their thoughts during their own time.
Homework: Draw one of the rarely seen sexual animals, anthropomorphically.
About the authorThe Chained Wolf — read stories — contact (login required)
a journalist and Grey Wolf from England
I have worked as a journalist formerly for The Furtean Times.
Yeah, I have always been a little annoyed when animals don't end up anatomically correct looking.
I mean, I never knew that female kangaroos had three vaginas, but male kangaroos have balls on the top of their wing wangs, when ever thats drawn its like its some kind of special commission or something and not the norm.
I also just hate seeing animals with human penises tacked to them.
Er, why does that matter? Remember, they are anthropomorphic, meaning, having human characteristics.
Personally, I do not appreciate seeing a vagina or penis at all when I log onto a furry site, that's not what I'm in the fandom for, but to each their own, eh?
Fursonas and other anthropomorphic creations are *human* constructs. More often than not, a furry fan will have little real life training in the species they identify with. They create their fursona from a few facts, cultural references, and personal preference.
Fact: Sloths live most of their lives upside-down
Cultural references: Sloths are lazy
Personal preference: I like how they live upside down and see life differently from other species. I don't think sloths are lazy - they're super efficient b/c they are very deliberate. I admire that.
Bing! I'm a sloth.
And I will reveal my own ignorance: I didn't know any of the sexual aspects you've written about these animals.
This seems like it was a good thinking exercise. I wish that someday I could compile a whole bunch of different reasons that people picked their fursona and write a study on it.
hmm...this is a very interesting article. i never knew any of that, except the blue whale one. and the wolf stuff, but i picked mine as wolf because i know more about wolves than any other animal. i study and read about wolves every chance i get, they're my favorite animal, and i see alot of myself in the standard wolf aspect.
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balto.redwall.tv - "Balto" Animated Movie
mononoke.redwall.tv - "Princess Mononoke"
can someone help me!
i am attracted to people in fursuits but not fictional anthropomorphic animal characters. does this make me a furry or not?
Joey Wheeler, I am very disappoint! >:C
The only thing that "makes" you a furry is personal preference.
For example, I am not attracted to people in fursuits nor anthropomorphic animals, but I'm still a furry since I appreciate them and would like to purchase a fursuit.
I guess what you said can be compared to saying: "Help! I am attracted to women, but not pornographic women on the internet! Does this make me gay?"
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