These are individuals that have taken their love of stuffed animals, Cartoons and Fictional Characters of Animals with human characteristics and have had a sexual behavior as a result.
Last night on CSI Vegas the show went into some details of the darker side of this Fetish Subculture so lets shed some light on it Ok.
Furry has always been a hot topic of debate for those interested in it -- from what it encompasses to its origins. However, remarkably little has been said about the people who are actually interested in this particular subgenre. What is it that "creates" a Furry fan? What makes a person desire to hybridize animals and people together into novel and yet very familiar, sensual forms? And why has it manifested itself so strongly in the last decade?
Surely, you say, it has something to do with the love of animals. Well, possibly less than you might think. There is a difference between an animal lover (who prefers animals in their original form) and a person who has a connection with anthropomorphs -- in some cases; the two are actually incompatible interests. "Furry" Anthropomorphics might have less to do with animals, and a lot more to do with a deep seated need to reinvent humanity.
My hypothesis is there might well be a fairly common background behind many Furry fans. Everyone doesn't necessarily share this history, but it does seem that a fair number of fans do admit to having past experiences that are at least similar.
Let's step back in time and take a look at the people who would grow up to be Furry fans. On average, the first wave of furry fans was in college in the early 90s, which would mean they were children in the 70s to early 80s. This was the golden age of Saturday morning cartoons, before the Clinton administration mandated educational content requirements that more or less slayed the institution in the late 90s.
Now, think about what it was like to be a kid backs then -- especially the shy and socially awkward archetypes that are undeniably common in Furry Fandom. You went to school five mornings a week, faced the masses of intimidating kids who were out to find someone to scapegoat, and came home to news programs that talked about nuclear buildups, hijacked airliners, and depicted the maddening assortment of daily human brutalities. Sunday morning, if you were unlucky, was claimed by church or, if you were lucky, free-form boredom. Six days of the week, you were pulled out of bed at the call of the world around you on its schedule to do its will.
But Saturday... that was your day. Free to spend with those colorful creatures on the television. Sure, they were nonsense, made to sell you video games or other merchandise, but you saw something there. A vague hint of an existence that was not dominated by the monochromatic forms that dictated painful reality. It set the tone, unintentionally conditioning you week after week for years of your life. As you grew, you latched onto Robin Hood or something similar, associating much like an autistic child does with animals -- you had found "your people."
As you matured physically, you started to realize that you couldn't take your people with you. They had remained, culturally, in the childhood years, neuter and innocent. You couldn't leave them behind, so you asked more of them -- personally crafting new, more adult, fantasies around them. And this is where Furry arose, to try and fill that aching void of adulthood. The parts that ached the worst were the parts that preyed upon your loneliness, and on things that you were not allowed to enjoy because of your shyness and alienation from the people around you.
You see a similar pattern of adult needs in Japanese animation (often called "Anime"), which, probably not coincidentally, rose in popularity around the same time as the lesser known genre of Furry. It doesn't take much thought to realize that it, too, fulfills the promise of animation for a mature audience, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that Japanese animation styles have manifested in Furry art quite a bit.
If this hypothesis is correct, then it's possible that the cultural phenomenon that created the sub-genre of Furry may well be transitory -- a mere accident of unintentional but powerful conditioning we may never see the likes of again (since Saturday morning is now a wasteland of live-action soap operas for children). The anthropomorphic genre has a long history, but the current surge of interest in the subgenre of "Furry" may well have a lifespan limited to a particular generation of extremely dedicated fans. Only time will tell what it will evolve into as this group moves into middle age.