So, I already said I would make a journal about this and because I don't like to make
wait, who was really impressed on how throughly I answered his question on my stand on the furry fandom, and my neighbor is simply not opening his door for me to tell him to shut the f*ck up. So, I guess I am starting now.
I guess you could probably say that I am considerably a furry, as I like anthropomorphic art in general and have a certain disposition to use animal like avatars over humanoids. In a very open definition of the word furry, I am already considered to be one.... or more precisely a scaly, as I prefer dragons (till the badger stuff comes, then it's 100% more fluff). Of course the clear definition is a bit more.. difficult to define. In fact, I think that's because the popular internet really makes a fuzz about things... oh well, let's just go with the one I mentioned.
So what does that mean? Well, of course it does mean that a huge part of my favorites is basically anthropomorphic art of animals.... I didn't check how much, as I really doubt that I have the patience to do the count of about 3,000 pictures.... or so. And what else? A preference for using anthropomorphic characters myself (in addition to my preferences for supernatural characters, smart male characters, dorky male characters, strong female characters, and you got a list earlier, didn't you?), as seen in my digging around for terianthropy, the most mythological form to work with those elements. I am a huge sucker for mythology and folklore, so I usually dig up stuff from that to think of anthropomorphic characters, which can lead to stuff I could probably put into a high fantasy setting. It's actually a lot of fun to just think of all the possibilities... also you have a race for everything in Dungeons and Dragons nowadays, so why not?
An interesting thing about the furry fandom is however that on a larger perspective it seems to make sense to exist. Anthropomorphic characters of anything have been used since the prehistoric time when humans used wood and stones for their tools and had only simple cults of their own. The interesting thing here are figurines that might be from about 30.000 B.C., so quite early. You might know about the lion-man of Ulm? Here is a picture:
This statue of a lion was found near the city of Ulm in South Germany. It got an own university, so thankfully some archaeologists have already made their work with it. I might be so free and give you the gist of it. In general, a lot of those figures were found that can be dated back to about the same time. Often picturing animals that lived in the respective area (of course, nowadays lions are extinct in Europe). But also women, which in itself might also have a similar cultural purpose. The reason can be speculated, as we of course lack any form of documents that could help us and archaeologists do have to make a lot of analysis to even get the closest idea. So, well actually there is nothing of a truth I could give you... only a possible thing that might be the truth or not. It could be a symbol of one's rank in a hierachy, a symbol of somebody's personality (brave, wise, etc.), it could be an object to give it's bearer the power of a lion even. So far I haven't found any information on the offical page about it.
I guess that is enough about prehistoric stuff, because I know your attention span won't last through a full-length homework assignment that goes on for an eternity. Also, I would take days to even finish the first part of this journal. Now, I will go further to the Early History of the Mediterranian region. I guess I could tell you about the story of Zeus and Europa, which leads to the minotaur in the end, but I think that is somewhat common knowledge with that carnivorous bullman. In terms of anthropomorphic animals we have quite a lot of things remaining to tell about. An easier example would be the fables of Aesop, where your daily life animals resemble human characteristics, that translate into a story which tries to teach you a moral... withou scaring you for the duration of your childhood. Or picturing women as either gullible or evil. And if somebody wants beastmen... except for the minotaur and Pan, I know about the Assyrian mermaids (note: creatures like the mermaid can be found in a variety of different cultures as well), the centaurs, and... well, I think that there is much more, but a concrete example is not coming up in my head anymore.
And I think we stay with earlier history and go to the tribes of Europe that were considered to be "wild" and "brutal" by the Romans and Greeks back then. And I guess that there comes a lot of things to mention, actually. First would be the Berserker from norse mythology. You know Odin? Old man, has two ravens and two wolves, bears the spear Gungnir, practices magic, sometimes wanders around in the guise of an old man (contrary to the warrior aspect of him), and has an interesting thing to him. A group of warriors devoted to him was wearing the pelts of bears and was said to be able to take form of the bear as well... honestly, it might be based on warriors that were wearing bear skins and fought wildly that created the image as they might have looked like bears and thus the myth came to life. But that's not all folks, teriantropy is not uncommon in Norse mythology at all. You know Sigurd? Probably not, because you might have his romantic reinterpretation Siegfried in mind. Well, it just so happens that I got my hands on an Edda, so I might as well tell you this. Once there was a dwarf named Otur, who as his name might imply was able to take form of an otter and did so quite frequently (who can blame him?). But one day the gods Loki, Odin and Hönir came by the otter, when he was trying to eat a salmon. Loki killed him and skinned him, which later led to a conflict with Otur's father Hreidmar and brothers Fafnir and Reginn. The gods had to pay weregild for the killed Otur and well... Loki gave them a stolen treasure from the dwarf Andvari, who cursed the ring of the treasure named Andvarinaut.... which leads to a new tragedy, as Fafnir was affected by the curse and killed his father to take it from him. He guarded the treasure and slowly changed into a lindworm over the years. Reginn planned to kill his remaining relative, originally in plan of revenge, but even he might have been affected by the curse... it leads to the entire event, where Sigurd kills Fafnir with the help of Odin and the dragon warns Sigurd in his dying breath that the treasure would be his undoing... but Sigurd was a dick and told him that he would die anyway, so at least he would die rich. And Fafnir told him that Reginn would try to kill him (Sigurd) as well to get hand on the treasure.... so well, Sigurd got some blood of Fafnir on his lips, which gave him the ability to listen to bird speech... and they told him that Reginn was actually going to kill him. So Sigurd chopped of his head, ate Fafnir's heart and made off with all the gold and the cursed... he eventually died because of it, but that's another story.
Am I finished? Not quite I still have Loki's role as Sleipnir's mother. And yes, you read right. Loki is the mother (not father) of an eight-legged horse. He transformed to a mare to prevent a timely build of Asgard, in order to prevent Freya marrying a frost giant... Loki seduced the horse of that giant and well... Sleipnir was born, Asgard was not finished on time, and Odin got a new mount.
So, a lot of text for a simple statement. Terianthropy, in any form, is quite a common theme of the mythology that we associate with the Vikings. And as such of cultural significance.
But it is not just Norse mythology and folklore, mind you. In Ireland and Britain you will find a mirage of creatures that fit in all sorts of anthromorphized animals. Fomorians are an interesting example. While they are often depicted as trolls, some of them look like humanoid rams... just to give you a general picture, this is the design of a Fomor in Shin Megami Tensei: img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20…
And then there are of course the wolf-based cryptids, namely the Wulver from the Scottish Shetland Isles (known to fish for a living and even share with poor families) and the Faoladh from Ireland (might eat some cattle, but is rarely a threat to humans, unless in service as a warrior to a king.). And the Ao Si, also known as Sidhe, etc., are often shapeshifters as it seems... seriously, a lot of those fairies seem to have multiple animal forms, if they are not already animals that is. A Banshee could not just appear in form of an old woman, but also as a weasel, hooded crow, etc. And I think that is about all the Celtic things about it.
And that's just two groups, so you can think how much more there is in total and even on course of several centuries, to this day. It really, really could fill my coming weeks to go into that much detail and unfortunately I can't really do that. This world has too many cultures in it's past and present to do that, to much time to research about. So, I might end it here and jump to something rather simple.
Namely literature that is much younger than the other things I have listed. I begin with quite a famous fable here, which is probably as child-friendly as the things I will do to my neighbor, if he doesn't shut up.... anyway, you might know Reynard Fox, right? If not, I sum it up. He is a literal figure representing a fox, depicted with a lot of human features and representing a cunning, sly, and with no moral to his actions. He is a murderer, rapist, thief, liar, and anything you could find to specify a crime. But well, the late 15th century was a time, where you had a small audience, which harldy contained any children. The fable has a lot of impact as well, as even Goethe wrote an Epos based on it. I should mention that it's probably best to keep in mind that the themes are not neccesarily for everyone, but well.
Other examples... well, not much well known stuff that you might hear a lot of. In fact, I think there is nothing I could add here, because I have got nothing at the moment... I am sure there is more to list, but it's note like the focus for discovering literature is primarily on anthropomorphic animals, so I am really like a turtle lying on the back now.
So, I think that I can jump forward to our current time period. Anthrompomorphic Animals are actually still somehow found in modern versions of folklore, namely Urban Legends. The Mothman is probably an easier example, as some describe it as an alien lifeform resembling a humanoid moth. Then there is the Raven Man, to which I really need more information about, but as it seems it is basically a summonable entity similar to Andras, who looks like an angel with either a raven or owl head, riding a black wolf before it was cool. Well, actually the raven man seems extremely similar to a lot of demons of the Ars Goetia, so it might be based on Andras and some others. In any case, better summon Orobas, if you need a demon. Or try an angel for a change.
So, I guess I have used several pages of text to establish the cultural aspect of anthropomorphic animals over the course of time and can come back to what I initially was talking about. The Furry Fandom in particular is just another example, where anthropomorphism is a cultural aspect. Blimey, it has nothing to do with magic, gods, demons, or anything. It's more popular culture, as it really just is a form of having fun, socializing, etc. In the three years I have been knowing about the fandom, I guess the times where I spoke with people of the fandom they seemed to be pretty okay.
-WARNING: MATURE TOPICS
Now, I guess that some of you have probably something in mind, since they started reading the journal entry, and if you are still reading this, I am very glad that you did, because now we go to the stuff that is perhaps the most controversial of them all. And a problem that makes many people, who initially like anthropomorphic art even stay away from the fandom as such, creating the difficulties to define the term "Furry" in the first place.
Yeah, I am talking about the four letters everyone is so agitated about. And I shall not keep them in my mouth, because I am not a fan of using terms like that. Yes, a lot of people associate the furry fandom with porn (also a four letter word, but meh). Really, I found out about a teacher who makes charity work in a dog suit and some idiot on Tumblr immediately jumped to the conclusion that he would have had sex in it... to which a smart guy replied, that this is just a stupid thing to say, considering that such a suit costs a lot of money... and the man was doing charity work, so that's a misfire.
Frankly, there is kinky stuff on furry webpages. Should I really point on Rule 34 on this one? It's really just the same thing as with EVERY other fandom in existence. If it is humanly comprehensible, it will find some people to make something out of it that is... probably not good for your childhood. I am not oblivious, so I do know that icky fanfiction exists to literally everything. Of course, now you can give arguments about the object of this process.... frankly, I give a damn. I am not so overly sensetive about all this.
-END OF WARNING!!!
So, I think that should be enough about that and now I can get more up close to the more general things. The Furry Fandom is a form of fandom that s not restricted to a franchise, which is certainly something to build up upon, as it really enable the members to be creative with their work. This can create completely new fandoms by itself, which is something very interesting to me, actually. I mentioned DanoGambler earlier, right? Well, he is a nice guy from Sweden, who got a comic series called Droran, which is really, really well written. But also bloody, as it deals with warfare as a theme and doesn't sugarcoat it at all. I recommend to go on his gallery and check it out, if I got your interest. It might be worth your time. And thus I participate in a fandom inside another fandom. There is really a lot of things to discover, which are really, really interesting, if you ask me. Digging around like a mole or badger (Not funny, AudeS.) might be really something to consider.
So, I think that's all what I can give you tonight. Bye Bye!