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What "Furry" Really Means

Sun May 24, 2009, 10:04 AM
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Alright, what I'm about to say are FACTS about that weird word people call "Furry". What does it mean? Are you a furry? Is your friend a furry? Please read this and come to that decision yourself. And I swear to you that these are all facts (as hard as that is), and not 'what I believe'. So please don't just tell me this is my opinion.

Let's start at the beginning. Most of you probably know the word 'anthro', and that it means something along the lines of an animal that walks on two legs. But it's more than that.
The term "anthro" is short for "anthropomorphic" which means ANYTHING non-human that has human features. So yes, ANYTHING can be an anthro! If anyone has seen Disney's Pocahontas, the Mother Willow tree was an Anthropomorhpic tree! You can anthropomorphisize anything that's not already a human :) The Little Toaster is an anthro toaster, etc.

Now, it's pretty easy to see that animals have been anthropomorphisized a lot. Disney movies like Robin Hood all the way to my own gallery, where animals are seen smiling or talking or doing anything remotely human (and yep, Disney's "Bolt" and the "Warriors" books can technically be considered anthro).

So NO, furry does not describe a TYPE of anthro. A lot of people say that anthros akin to werewolves are called 'anthro' and the anthros that wear clothes and act more human-like are called 'furries'. This is completely untrue. There is no category of anthro animals! All anthro animals are anthro animals no matter how many human attributes they have! 'furry' is not a type of art or a type of character.

"Furry" is a word that describes members of the furry fandom. The Furry Fandom was 'started' a long time ago when people really liked the idea of anthro animals like Bugs Bunny or werewolves more than the average person. This is the start of the furry fandom. If someone is a 'member' of the furry fandom, they are, for the most part, called a 'furry' just as a member of the anime fandom is just an 'anime fan'.

Many people say a furry is someone who dresses up in animal costumes and goes to conventions. No.
Many people say a furry is someone who thinks they are an animal trapped inside of a human body. No.
Many people say a furry is someone who likes to "yiff" (a word synonymous with "sex") or draws anthros having sex. No.
Many people say a furry is someone who likes to have sex with animals. ABSOLUTELY NO.

Yes, there are some people that call themselves furry and do these things. But that definately does not MAKE UP what furry is! I know MANY furries who have never been in a costume (myself included) and I know MAAANY furries who know they are a simple human (myself included). And contrary to popular belief I know MANY furries who are not into sexual acts involving any type of animals (anthro or no) (myself included) and who are just average, regular people.

A furry is a member of a simple fandom! And how does someone become a furry?

YOU ARE A FURRY IF YOU WANT TO BE.

It's that simple. If you don't like the stereotype that comes with the word 'furry' or you just don't feel comfortable with it, then you don't have to be one! It's not like furries are forcing all the animals lovers into their fandom. You can call yourself a furry if you want to, or you can say you're not if you want to. You don't have to go to conventions to be a furry, or like anthros a certain degree. Must I go on? Furries can be people from every walks of life, people who just think anthro animals are a cool idea to people who wish they could be an animal.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that the term 'furry' comes with a lot of negative stereotypes, and if that's all that's stopping you from identifying yourself with the fandom then you should try and realize it's all words. You are who you are, and you know what you do or don't do.


The furry fandom is a great place if you want it to be. When it comes down to it, all it is is a group of people who think anthropomorphic animals are cool. They have conventions so they can share their interest, meet other people with the same interest, and best of all buy art that visualizes their interest (because furry fandom wouldnt exist without art, since anthros don't exist in real life :P). This is all that furry is.

Here are some links that may further explain the word "furry" and more about the furry fandom. If you are interested in this subject, I suggest you read them :)

What is "Furry"
What is "Furry Fandom"


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:iconxaran-alamas:
Xaran-Alamas Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for clearing that up, I was rather unsure myself :) (Though, I've long since learned that furry isn't just the sexual stuff)

I wonder why it is that people outside of fandoms/subcultures seem to like to highlight the extremes and especially sexual things that SOMETIMES are tied to them?

Seperate to that I've always found it a bit odd that people DO make such a big deal about people who like anthro animal characters as adults considering as children we're saturated with them. Why should that change when we get older?

Thanks again for the nice read!
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:iconidess:
Idess Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you, and glad you agree and enjoyed my post! It's old but still applicable :)

The media MUST find the 'weird' or shocking things about a story to be able to present it; shock value gets more readers, and more readers is more money. Here in America especially, sex is deemed something taboo. When the media sees furries they try to find the "dark secret" behind it that would give them a good story. Sex sells! Media loves the idea that some people have sex in fursuit (such a small minority of furries do but it only takes one to get the media..), and since sex is taboo then furries are an even crazier taboo. The media eats that up!
Over in Europe where sex isn't such a big deal (if I could count the times I've seen very sexualized German advertisements!), furry isn't really all that strange. People think it's fun and don't focus as much on the sexual aspects. The way they see it, and how we SHOULD see it, is this: Adults have sex. Furries are adults. Furries have sex. It's so simple it's sad that America demonizes sex so much XP It's just a fact that humans are sexual beings and so when there's a group of them, of course sex will be brought up and people will be having sex. That's what adults do!

It's just sad that's what so many people focus on. I do wish it was more well known what furry really is; a large diverse group of people who have varying affinities for animals and anthropomorphized animals :3
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:iconkibasnowpaw:
kibasnowpaw Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014
furry is like all other fandoms out there it a Group of people that like somthing 

Anime Fandom = Anime
Comicon = Comic 

just to give some example 
the Furry Fandom is about anthropomorphic Animals it can be Comix, Cartoon, Fursuit, Fursona, RP, and much more 
you cant say Furrys its this because there so many Classes to it we have people the only like the Comic and we have people that  only like suiting and no matter if we like it or not there is people that only come for the Adult stuff but its all a part of the Fandom i have seen every part of what the furry Fandom offers and i have to say i like it all i don't judge if you here for fursuit sex fine by me if you here because you love Cute looking suit that also fine one or the other we still all Furrys 


Idess 
When it come to America the problem with Americas is they afraid of what they don't understand and 80% of them are Christian and the are strong believers that's why Gay people and stuff like Furrys get stamp on like it some big taboo i cant understand why maybe its just i always been open 

and then we have the Media 
the 
Media job is not to tell the trues but to get so many audience as possible but i have heard some good about the Media sometimes so it not always bad 
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:iconblazerhot:
blazerhot Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Student Interface Designer
This really cleared stuff up for me. You know your stuff
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:iconidess:
Idess Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you I'm glad it helped! :)
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:iconcoralnerd:
Coralnerd Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I mean the fandom/ art when i say "furry" or "anthro":

I call my self a furry since I wish I was an animal. I also enjoy the anthro art (mostly clean). As for why I wish I was an animal, i simply don't like our species. It's not that I don't like people, I just don't like the actions we have done which have harmed the environment; I also don't like how mean we are =p. I think of my self as a deer "furry" despite that fact I'm a reef geek. I absolutely love coral reefs, but I don't want to be a fish or aeropora sp. I am a saltwater aquarist as well, but you can't call me a hypocrite since I use all farmed animals. I choose deer since they are my favorite land animal, and I find them almost as amazing.
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:iconndunsmo:
ndunsmo Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2011
If only I'd seen this way back when I was a member of the animelyrics forums trying to explain to the other members what a furry really is. Couldn't have explained it better myself.
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:iconidess:
Idess Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks! :)
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:icondrmusic2-1:
DrMusic2-1 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010
Thanks for this informative journal, you really helped a lot of people here including me.

I only wish that :iconeyesglowyellow: and :iconmidnight-oyl: would understand.
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:iconidess:
Idess Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010  Professional General Artist
No matter what, there will always be people who don't want to think differently, and eventually you learn to just deal with them and their ways ^^
Other times, people are just trolls and should be ignored anway :P
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:icondrmusic2-1:
DrMusic2-1 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010
Oh absolutely.
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:iconsuper-cheesepuff:
Super-Cheesepuff Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2009
Aha! Thank you < 3. This really cleared things up for me.
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:iconlatias11211:
latias11211 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2009
i agree with what you said 100% ps check out my gallery
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:iconxxfireandicexx:
xXfireandicexX Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2009
It might help to add that people who feel like an animal but trapped in a humans body are refered to (most of the time) as humanimals. Thought I'd add that ^^'
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:iconidess:
Idess Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2009  Professional General Artist
That's a word many normal people use, but to those people it is known as Therianism :) Therians (or were's, slightly different but similar) are people who believe they have the soul of an animal. To be honest, I've heard the word "humanimal" thrown around by people who have no idea what furry means to describe furries :P
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:iconxxfireandicexx:
xXfireandicexX Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2009
Ouch some people.... A humanimal is not a furry >> Of course, you covered the whole furry thing anyway. People should learn what a word means BEFORE they use it, you know? Thanks, I never heard of that term yet ^^
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:iconbingles:
bingles Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I wish I can fav journals! Lmao


Anthro does not mean Anthropomorphic. It can mean many things.

Any animal that talks is considered Anthropomorphic.
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:iconkeaze:
Keaze Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009
I disagree that Bolt and other talking animals are anthro. Anthro comes from anthropomorphic, anthro meaning human and morph meaning shape. Therefore, an anthro is an animal, plant or an object purposely visually changed so that it's made to look and resemble a human. But wait, these characters do have human features, such as eyebrows. Yes, but then that would make any kind of dog drawn in a cartoony style, including a non-talking one, anthro. Saying that any animal that exibits a human emotion (or something else we consider unique to humans) is an anthro makes the definition vague and kinda pointless. A term is intented to specify, not apply to everything that might bear a slight resemblance to it.
The correct term would be personification, giving human TRAITS to animals. I'm surprised at how little people use this word because it's one that I learned in high school many years before we even mentioned anthropomorphism (I even thought that what we call "personifikacija" is what you call "anthropomorphism"). I don't think the two words should be confused especially because the concept behind Bolt and one behind Disney's Robin Hood is totally different.


I had this little phase when I really hated furries (which came right after the one where I defended them) because the fandom seemed like nothing more than a gay/porn club to me. But meh, people are insanely horny creatures and that kind of porn obsession is not unique to furries. Also, most people in the fandom are male so I guess porn of something they like is to be expected. I am also irritated by all the foxes, the animal kingdom is so diverse, why the hell does everyone still stick to FOXES?!

As for stereotypes:
Many people say a furry is someone who dresses up in animal costumes and goes to conventions. No. -True, mostly because they don't have enough money. But what's wrong with fursuits? They're freakin' awesome! (as long as they're not used for...that.). I like the idea of cons as well, it's sad that they've been shown by the media as invitations to group sex.
Many people say a furry is someone who thinks they are an animal trapped inside of a human body. No. -I guess the fact so many have fursonas makes them kinda similar to therians, but I always say that's like saying drawing yourself in a cartoony form means you're convinced you're a cartoon.
Many people say a furry is someone who likes to "yiff" (a word synonymous with "sex") or draws anthros having sex. No. -Most do. Well, they are adults (or teens) I guess :roll:. But yiff is not what furry is about and I've run into some furries who choose to stay away from it. Also, most of them say they feel sexual attraction to anthros only (and as someone said in a poll asking about weather furries like yiff: it seems that the only two options are "I'm asexual" and "I f*** dogs")
Many people say a furry is someone who likes to have sex with animals. ABSOLUTELY NO. -Fandom love for animals naturally attracts people who feel more for them but I can definitively say that zoophiles/zoosexuals are often ostracized from the fandom, some for a reason (I once read a description along the lines of "I love yiff and I screw dogs give me yiff". That guy was a perverted sicko), some unrightfully so (there are some intelligent people out there who get discriminated, I don't think that's fair).
Anyway, these are based on my experience but I don't know any furries in real life so it's pretty much based on what I read in profile pages or forums.
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:iconjeanmouloude:
jeanmouloude Featured By Owner Edited Oct 8, 2014  Student General Artist
Anthro is animals with human characteristic (speak walk think etc..)(if you can speak you can think)
And Nop i dont care you posted this message 5 years ago :icontrollfaceplz:
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:iconidess:
Idess Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009  Professional General Artist
Hmm, I see what you mean. Though I have it in my mind that anthro= talking animals because long ago when I thought anthro was just werewolves, someone was saying how "The Sight" (a book about wolves, not sure if you know it) has anthropomorphic animals in it. I replied and said "are you sure? I'm pretty sure they're normal wolves walking on four legs" and they explained that because they 'talk' to each other and have this soap-opera drama etc.etc., it is considered anthropomorphic. I have remembered this 'lesson' since, hence my categorizing X3

"But what's wrong with fursuits?" Nothing, I'm actually thinking of making my own XD I just addressed that issue because that's what many people think, and they think that dressing up in mascot costumes is weird :P And I used to as well. I used to be deathly afraid of fursuits and when I went to my first convention one of my 'rules' was for fursuiters to stay away from me because they're creepy. However that changed the minute I walked through the convention doors, because they had turned from a creepy Mickey Mouse thing to funny works of art.

As for the zoophiles, I believe they are a minority in the fandom and even looked down upon by the fandom as a whole. I remember once at a convention, someone had a beastiality flag outside of their door (dont ask what a beastiality flag looks like, I never saw it but I had no idea that they had a symbol/flag? XDD) and numerous people were disgusted and downright horrified.
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:iconkeaze:
Keaze Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009
I've heard a lot of people say that too, but that just doesn't make sense. One Blacksad and one Simba are not meant to represent the same thing and we have two totally different terms for two different concepts. Why should they be the same?
Anthros are animals made to resemble humans in form (and as such represent humans or seperate animal/human-like species) and personified animals are animals made to think or talk like humans but which represent real animals. At least I think that's that, because the two concepts just aren't the same and while they may overlap, one can't say that every talking animal is anthro since it doesn't fit the definition of "human-shaped" (but it does fit the definition of "made to be a person").
Now I'm not 100% on what the official definitions say, but by the way they're coined the difference seems kinda obvious to me.

Daww, I heard a lot of people think fursuits are creepy but I love them since it's like real anthros walking around. I was looking at youtube videos of fursuit (and furpiles) for a whole day and wow, there are some really cool designs there.

For a fandom that has so much animal porn it's really surprising how it's not filled with zoophiles/bestialists and I think the zoophile=furry connection is one of biggest incorrect stereotypes I've seen. I mean, you can accuse them of being "fags" or yiffing or wearing fursuits but the zoophilia thing is just not something the majority prefers. I mean, whenever a zoophile speaks the furries all go "OH U! It is because of you sickos that we're so hated! Get out of here and stop raping animals, you *beep*" (I do find it funny how everyone's an animal rights activist when it comes to rape but when it comes to killing the animals, and in a cruel way even, most people just look away). I'm not sure how many furries are therians.
I think I saw a zoophile symbol once, like, a person holding hands with another except this one had a tail? I dunno if they have anything official though.
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:iconlycaenops:
lycaenops Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2009
Thank you very much for writing this. I like to draw anthro, but I don't post any of it because I don't like the idea of people assuming that I'm a furry. It's not that I have anything wrong with the fandom in general, but the sad fact is, most people do associate it with sexual perversions.

Honestly, you have to admit, the yiffers did kind of ruin it for everyone else :(
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:iconnarren88:
Narren88 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2009
So what you say is that just becouse you are a furry you do not have to be a fan of the sex, costume, animal soul in your bady part?

My reality has been turned upside down :noes:
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:iconidess:
Idess Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2009  Professional General Artist
Absolutely not! A furry is simply a fan. It is -individuals- who decide to be into the sex, costume, or deep connection to animals. It even appals me that people think these things are what the furry fandom is about, because that's the biggest stereotype yet. :P
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:iconnarren88:
Narren88 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009
ok so what do we call people with bunny souls and costumes making out with eachother?

Wierdos?
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:iconidess:
Idess Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009  Professional General Artist
Meh well, it's their thing and I would hate to classify anyone like that as weirdos. People with animal souls are usually called "therians", and it's more of a religion. I know many kind, loving people who are therians and they're sane and live normal lives. In fact, many therians hate the furry fandom and try to distance themselves from them completely. So there are very few furries who say they have the soul of an animal.
As for the costumers, I love animal costumes for their artistic merit but not beyond that. Anyone who has sex in them is simply fulfilling their fetish (albeit a weird one in my opinion), and is no different than those who use handcuffs and whips during sexual acts. What goes on in the bedroom should stay there, and I really could care less what people do in their private time! XD As long as they don't try to shove it on me or something, ick.
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:iconnarren88:
Narren88 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009
... Or take or make pictures of it...

But thanks for clearing some things up for me =D
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:icondiedarasgirl:
Diedarasgirl Featured By Owner May 31, 2009
im confused? can you help me?! please
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:iconpuppyloveimani:
PuppyloveImani Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2009
Confused about what?
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:icondiedarasgirl:
Diedarasgirl Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
the furry?dos it mean you have a spirit bond with a animal?
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:iconpuppyloveimani:
PuppyloveImani Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
No. It means you like animals, anthromorphic art and have an animal to represent yourself.
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:icondiedarasgirl:
Diedarasgirl Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009
oh like i represent the wolf?
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:iconpuppyloveimani:
PuppyloveImani Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2009
No as in you draw an animal you call yourself. (for example in my gallery you'll mainly fine a light brown huskey dog which I call myself)
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:icondiedarasgirl:
Diedarasgirl Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2009
oh like i have a pix i made thats name is lupin(lupins my nike name) but i say thats me.
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:iconpuppyloveimani:
PuppyloveImani Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2009
Then you are a furry.
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(1 Reply)
:icontesseri-shira:
Tesseri-Shira Featured By Owner May 27, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Freaking Amen to that!
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:iconxanthe-96:
Xanthe-96 Featured By Owner May 27, 2009
Thank you!
Finally a furry who makes sense ¬¬
Im making a fursuit :clap: I dont find them at all creepy ^-^
I think furs who "Yiff" as they call it, are being rather imature.. what goes on in the bedroom doesnt need to be displayed at a harmless fun convention..
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:iconthe-incinerator:
The-Incinerator Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Hm.
Hey, i think this is somethng of what you're talking about: [link]
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:iconswandog:
swandog Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Yup.
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:iconkuroseishin:
kuroseishin Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Reached pretty much the same conclusion myself. You're a furry if you want to be, it's a self definition thing. The same way, people who only draw animals wearing clothes can also say that they DON'T want to be considered furry too. (Not that I fit into that category, I'm a furry through and through. But I know people like that.)

What do you think about a furry who often applies the term to things that the creators often did not intend to be "furry" in the sense of the fandom-coined term. Examples are Disney's movies or even ancient egypt's anthromorphic animal gods.
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:iconidess:
Idess Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional General Artist
Well anything can be... furried I guess XD I mean, I can't count how many times I've seen sexy looking Anubis' in the fandom. But if a furry says "lol, Anubis is a furry" to me that means they're saying an egyptian god was a member of the furry fandom, which is just silly. But since the fandom revolves around anthro animals, I think it's pretty normal for the fandom to take certain characters and morph them into sorts of mascots of the fandom itself.
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:iconkuroseishin:
kuroseishin Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
I don't mind them being adopted in modern times at all... I'm just not sure how to respond when my friend says "The ancient Egyptians were furries." :X
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:iconkuroneko1133:
KuroNeko1133 Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Actually the idea of warriors is that they are speaking in a cats language (meows,hisses,mews etc.)so actually they are not humanized.they are just plain cats. the reson its in a human lingo is so we understand what the hell the cats are saying. As a HUGE warriors fan i thought i should clear that up, thank you.
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:iconidess:
Idess Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional General Artist
Yes that's true, but they're showing feelings and emotions :) Technically that's considered anthropomorphic. I know quite a few people who have called similar books (like The Sight) anthropomorphic because they're giving the animals human thoughts and feelings.
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:iconkuroneko1133:
KuroNeko1133 Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
look i can understand that but i have a cat myself, and cats hav feelings and emotions just lik you and me. and truthfully i'm tired of humans thinking they are the only ones with thoughts and feelings. cats are truelly intelligent creatures and Erin Hunter is just showing that. her books are, to a point, a true cats thoughts and actions.
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:iconidess:
Idess Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional General Artist
Hey, I'm not saying that animals don't have feelings. I'm a huge animal advocate. But they don't talk to each other in human conversations and they're not going to have drama-filled lives like the cats in Warriors do ^^ For example, no real cat will feel greedy and kill other cats to become leader of a group of cats and have ambition to rule the forest. Real cats don't think that.
To make the series more relatable, Erin Hunter gave some human qualities to the characters, just as every author has when writing about animals.
But meh, this isn't what the journal was about at all. But I don't want you to think I'm some snooty person thinking I'm superior to all animals. I wouldn't complain if the entire human race died out tomorrow so the Earth can recover to all the horrible things we've done to it.
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:iconsilver-aura:
Silver-Aura Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Haha, Ive sent this around to about fifty people on Gaia. I suppose that makes me a furry now! Ive learned a lot~ I always associated furry with all those disgustingly perverted yiffers with animal fetishes. Ive never called anyone a furry but those people, whom of which I dont feel bad for, but its nice to shed some light on it~
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:icondragarta:
Dragarta Featured By Owner May 25, 2009   Traditional Artist
Perfect.
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:iconhawberries:
hawberries Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Wonderfully defined. I'm going to link people to this journal next time they call me a furry for drawing lots of animals. Thank you for this.
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:iconguardiankitsune:
GuardianKitsune Featured By Owner May 24, 2009
Thanks for this journal! This will clarify it to so many people I have talked to who only see the negative stereotypes! (though it's always the same with anything I try to show them...) XD
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