Many have tried to find a common description that contains the complete definition of Furries. None of them succeeded, so I won't try to write another essay - dead from the beginning - about what Furries are - and what they are not. What I will do is invite you to take a look at the world of Furries and to decide for yourself, what it takes to make a Furry out of us, and maybe even out of you.
Despite all differences there are some things that are typical for most Furries. Most have a specific liability to real or fictitious animals and you can imagine already how closely related the term "Furry" actually is. But not all favourite animals of the Furries are furred creatures, but also winged, scaled and ones with leathery skin. Dragons, eagles and snakes are common as well as dolphins and amphibians.
While some Furries consider their "soul's animal" - as I like to call it - for the most beautiful creature in the world, some take a step further and wish themselves to slip into the skin - excuse me, the fur - of that animal. Some even would want to trade their hands, speech or even conscious thought for coming as close as they can to their soul's animal. Again others wish to escape from their own bodies, too, but they would not want to give up certain things. These Furries are longing for the anthropomorphic form or even the ability of shape shifting. Anthropomorph is the term for generally reflecting human-like properties on something non-human. A speaking animal is just as anthropomorph as the storm that's pulling at your clothes in rage. Furries have a slightly altered meaning for that, though: An anthropomorphic character (sometimes just called an Anthro) is mostly pictured with upright stance and the ability to speak; a four-legged character, also equipped with speech and intellect, is called a non-morphic character.
Many Furries are active on the Internet and use nearly all ways of communication the net has. Ranging from eMail, news, IRC over web-chats to mailing lists and of course home pages; it's all there. The newsgroup de.alt.fan.furry is the most interesting group for German Furries. English speaking Furs may have a look at alt.fan.furry, the original newsgroup from that the German group had derived. If you like to chat you can find us on "panther.furnet.org". International Furries typically use the channel #furry, while most of the German Furries meet in the room #pantherchat. You can find more information about IRC and the Furnet (former Yiffnet) here. If you want to know if there are other furries living in your area, have a look at the Furry-Map. Many furries have already made their entry there to show their location to others.
Furries and the Furry Fandom (just as hard to describe as the Furries themselves) combine a lot of creative and sensitive characters that participate in various fields, and some of them manage to achieve high quality. The group that's known best of course is the group of artists, their works are stored in gigabytes on the big online archives and are collected eagerly. Authors of short stories and whole novels are amongst the Furries as well as musicians, sculptors and organizators, who provide locations for regular meetings (Cons), to give the widely scattered Furries the chance to meet another face to face.
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