Feeds

How furry is it?

Silicon Valley subculture of stuffed animals is the largest in the world

Seven Steps to Software Security

An animal trapped in a human body

Yet when the dog trapped deep inside a furry canine is finally set free, it's more likely to sport roller-skates than realistic attributes. This lack of literalism frustrates those with more serious trans-species interests.

Female 'headless' furry in red costume - indeterminate animal - semi-crouching, smiling with water-pistol in hand

Pic credit: Morley John

"I can understand wanting people to see you on the outside as you feel on the inside," says Spike, a Bay Area electrical engineer who believes he is a rottweiler trapped in a human body, "but I identify as a biological dog, not an anthropomorphic dog." To protect his career, Spike asked to have his real name omitted.

While furry canines walk around on two legs, chatting pleasantly with felines, Spike says he fights the desire to run on all fours and bark at cats on the street. "When I was in kindergarten I would convince kids to play fetch with me," he says.

Being a dog is more than just a game of pretend for Spike, and as dog suits are unrealistic he has never taken to wearing them. "I don't have the desire to dress like a cartoon," says Spike.

A vegan out of respect for his fellow compatriots, Spike also avoids cosmetics tested on animals and meat products. Being a furry, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily inspire political sensitivity.

At the monthly SF Furmeet, a dinner held in San Francisco's famous Castro neighborhood, a table of furries chow down on hamburgers and chicken fajitas.

While no mention of the torture endured by their animal relatives is made, a fierce debate erupts over the original inventor of peanut butter. The conversation capriciously shifts to the manufacturing and distribution of coins, inspiring an IT manager (and lion) named Sage Mane to joke about short changing exotic dancers at strip clubs. The all-male group laughs, only to later contemplate the mysterious absence of women at monthly gatherings.

"Furries aren't the most socially competent people," says Morley John, a female furry and engineer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There are "a lot of awkward people who have difficulty connecting person-to-person."

Yet despite being a minority citizen in furry land, John says the awkward culture offers the chance to vent frustrations with her male-dominated profession. She is currently working on a muscular Koala bear costume that boasts sharp claws and a plate of armor. "Koala bears are very territorial," she says.

John has also worn costumes that embellish exaggerated feminine stereotypes, and says furry culture offers a refuge for those that want to "try on" extreme genders. "Because I have to be one of the guys to be respected," says John, "it's somehow cathartic to take a cute, cuddly looking character and turn it into something that has a lot of raw, vicious energy."

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Next page: How kinky is it?

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.