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A common topic among the anthro community (and heck, DeviantArt at large) is the classification of what is anthro, what is furry, and what isn't. Heck, even well-established artists have a hard time explaining it, and to quote Scott Kurtz of PvP: "Cartoon animals don't have boobs!"

An often-offered definition of the difference between Anthro and Furry is that Furry is a sexualized form of Anthro, whereas Anthro is simply drawing animals acting like humans and sipping tea; ergo, Anthro is the 'true' art and standard of civilization, while Furry is its mentally retarded drooly cousin, mostly consisting of cub porn and recolored Sonic OC's.

This is the most widely accepted definition between Furry and Anthro. It's also dead wrong.

To help demonstrate this, I've made up a simple graph to make it clear what 'Anthro' is and what Furry isn't:

How to Classify Anthro by jekkal

A brief explanation of the relevant bits so I'm not just repeating what's already written on the chart's deviation page:

Anthro covers every possible thing you could turn into a humanoid.
Anthro Machines are Droids.
Anthro Plants are Treants.
Anthro Animals are Furries.
Anthro anything else is . . . whatever you want to call it, it's not really important which.

In case you didn't notice it when you first saw the chart, the style, the context, and the genre are completely and utterly irrelevant. There is no delineation or special terminology given to obscene materials in that chart, or for cartoon characters, or for realistic representations of these concepts. There's a good reason for that.

If you are drawing ANY representation of an animal given human traits, it's Furry. It can be Mickey Mouse, It can be Sonic, it can be Hepcats fanart, it can be that Aflac duck . . . I don't care how sexualized or innocent, how cartoony or realistic, how crude or refined, if you are drawing animals doing things that you don't see animals doing in real life, it's Furry.

Attempting to classify yourself as Anthro when you're drawing Furry is deception at best and arrogance at worst — deception because while all furry is anthro, not all anthro is furry, and arrogance because it furthers this idea that drawing animals is okay only as long as it's within socially acceptable boundaries and you're not doing anything crazy like pretending you were a dragon or giving your catgirl the build of a college coed.

Yes, there are seedy elements of Furry, just like there are artistic nudes on DeviantArt. There is drawn pornography (commonly termed 'Yiff') in Furry, just like there's Hentai in Anime. There are plenty of Furry archives that will push these limits, just like there's other art archives out there that will post all the other stuff DeviantArt doesn't allow. There is no excuse for claiming all Furry is Yiff, just like there is no excuse for claiming all Anime is Hentai. (For those who have short memories, the Anime/Manga/Hentai connection was a common mistake in the 90's, but this too has died down thanks to the mainstreaming of Anime and Manga.)

Unless your animal characters are little plush toys, art sculptures, or some other series of inanimate objects that have somehow come to life, you are dealing in Furry  — and if said items have any human traits whatsoever, they're still Furry. The sooner we all accept this fact and stop treating the term 'Furry' like it only applies to the kinky fetish side of Anthro . . .

. . . the sooner we can get the rest of the internet to cut us some slack.
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:iconmaggiemoonwall:
MaggieMoonwall Featured By Owner 5 days ago
same. damn. thing.
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:iconrabbitmaskedman:
rabbitmaskedman Featured By Owner Edited Jan 26, 2016  Student Digital Artist
There are some REAL idiots in this comment section who don't get what anthropomorphism is, so here is the dictionary definition so you simple minded folks get all confused, ok?

an·thro·po·mor·phic
ˌanTHrəpəˈmôrfik/
adjective
adjective: anthropomorphic
  1. relating to or characterized by anthropomorphism.
    • having human characteristics.


This means that being anthropomorphic merely means having human characteristics. It comes from the greek root word "anthropos" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropo…, which means HUMAN. Not animal... HUMAN.

This means the human characteristics can be applied to ANYTHING, not just animals. 
 

 Do... you all... uuuuuunderstand? 
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:iconthewolfstudieos:
thewolfstudieos Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2015
Anthro is short for anthropomorphic which in terms is giving non human things human characteristics, Example, droids are human machines and furries are animal humanoids and "Furry" Is also used to describe the fan group of people whom take interest in anthropomorphic creatures, hybrids, humanoid animals, animal people, what ever you want to call them.
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:iconailithir:
Ailithir Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2015  Student General Artist
The only thing I don't agree upon is in the picture's diagram and its description: plants and animals mesh marvelously.
I don't know much about plants and machines though.
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:iconaxlreigns:
AxlReigns Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Found your journal entry through googling something else. Interesting point of view but I respectfully disagree. Furry is a term that from my understanding has only existed in the last twenty years give or take. Anthropomorphic has been the proper term for all of the twentieth century and even dates back to the 1800s. When Mickey Mouse was created, the term "furry" didn't even exist. As a kid who grew up watching 1987 TMNT and other anthro themed movies and shows, the term furry was not well known at all if it even existed yet in the first place.

From my understanding, "furry" came with the rise of its convention like fandom which comprises of a more adult fan base with sometimes more sexual/mature depictions of them.

If someone wants to call their art furry that's their right but its also a person's right to not want to use the latest label from convention/fan culture.

I don't use the "furry" label for my work because for personal reasons I just do not feel like I fit in with the fandom. I never visit fur affinity or go to conventions. I don't have a "fursona" although some people assume that my username character is. You wouldn't call Walt Disney a furry or the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog. I'm just an adult kid who loves the idea of making a living, by creating the same kind of anthro cartoons and stories that I enjoyed growing up.

But whatever, to each their own. If someone wants to call it "furry," its not like I can do anything to stop them.

Just giving the other perspective. I don't believe a person should feel obligated to use a title from a relatively new fandom for an art form that has existed since Ancient Egypt.
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:iconeddygrunge:
EddyGrunge Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2015
:D tell that to the furries. some of the kids think the opposite, that furries are the pg version of anthro. Still, if you see the porn and don't like the porn, look away. Someone made it with their own taste long before your inspection. I don't draw a lot, so as far as the ground goes I'm standing alone.

Btw jekkal, that cyber punk pony is pretty awesome. Ponies kick pretty hard and that one looks like it aims low. I like it! (3
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:icondragonloveradm:
Dragonloveradm Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
A way my friend who also has a deviantart and draws a lot,classifies them as this. Anthros are animals who do everything human and ignore being animal,Furries do not wear close and she doesn't explain more.and I know what "Yiffer's" she called them are what I thought to be furries and just thought that stand animals were standing animals,and now I know what Yiff or whatever is and I absolutley hate it.
  But to the point I was going to ask,If you know what spooky's house of jumpscares is you have heard of specimen 8 and  people would call it deer lord (Even though I don't know if thats official) and I wanted to make an actual deer lord oc based off of it,And gonna add a bunch of others (Bunny and black cat standing up) and I was wasn't gonna draw the way most people do,With ALL of the face being animal like and having human hair and stuff. I never thought of being in a fandom with the Name being called "Furry" or "Furries" and I honestly wouldn't like being called that. He was honestly gonna be the villain and also in a couple of comics the oc I wanted and being called a Furry doesn't fit me. I like words like POOFY and FLUFFY and when I hear furry I think of normal bunnies.Fluffy and stinken cute. But when I think of them being a human design...I don't really like it because of the way human culture is and stuff and I don't want something of a drawing with a human design to be called furry. I like Anthro better for IDK what reason,but when I hear it and I've never heard it before I think of an elegant snake. When I hear furry I think Of the STUPID INTERNET MEDIA THING STUFF without thinking of an actual definition...So I'd like some feedback on my question please :)
Also Darkwing DUck Is the best show ever featuring animals(and ducks of coarse)
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:iconlucienrm5:
LucienRM5 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Apparently , something happened with 4Chan and the clean furry artists to make everyone think that furry artists are all about sexual stuff.

That's unfair.
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:iconpandathawolfie:
PandaThaWolfie Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2015
Not really. They are rather the same, however, furry is a more popular with wolves etc. Anthro ranges from all animals. Furries are not drawn sexually at all, thats complete bullshit and you know it too well. Its just media and society which makes them sound like sex machines.
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:iconkreoko:
Kreoko Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I disagree. Anthropomorphism is what I considering to be portraying human characteristics to animals in order for us to emphasize with them. Animals, apart from the great apes and possibly dolphins and whales, do not experience the range of emotions we do. So for us humans to understand, we project our behavior onto them.

Furries are simply fans of anthropomorphic art and characters, essentially creating an anthropomorphic animal character in the fandom. Basically, furries are fans and some are very scary people.
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:icontultsi93:
tultsi93 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
"Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human form or other characteristics to beings other than humans, particularly deities and animals. Personification is the related attribution of human form and characteristics to abstract concepts such as nations and natural forces likes seasons and the weather. Both have ancient roots as storytelling and artistic devices. Most cultures have traditional fables with anthropomorphized animals as characters."
     ~~ Wikipedia.
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:iconkreoko:
Kreoko Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't care. I am entitled to my personal opinions. I also still think furries are gross :)
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:icontultsi93:
tultsi93 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Then Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy are gross. They're furries.
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:iconreiler12:
reiler12 Featured By Owner Edited May 31, 2015
Dance lessons Dance lessons Dance lessons So how to destroy the fetish furfags yiff,guns?
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:iconrabbitmaskedman:
rabbitmaskedman Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Why would you want to in the first place?
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:iconreiler12:
reiler12 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2016
Honestly when someone does something related to the furry and say it's anthro I want to be able to show them the difference, besides I'm still confused by the difference between the two.
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:iconlucienrm5:
LucienRM5 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't know...tell them. but i'm honestly disgusted by the fact that everyone thinks that Furries are all about that disgusting stuff.
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:iconreiler12:
reiler12 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2015
But are not ?
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:iconrexcaliburr:
Rexcaliburr Featured By Owner May 19, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Thank you! I used to say 'anthro' as well after having been told that furries are purely sexualised. This makes me a lot more comfortable with the term furry.
Reply
:iconpride-and-parliament:
pride-and-parliament Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I used to say I was anthro before I was comfortable accepting that I was furry. Because I was interested in furry things, but I wasn't certain that it was my identity. I guess I figured since "anthropomorphic" means "with human qualities" and "furry" means "with animal qualities," "anthro" was less, shall we say, DEEP than "furry." At any rate, I got over my trepidations (at least on the internet; I'm still basically closeted in real life), but that was what it connoted for me. "Anthro" is a fuzzy term (no pun intended) and when you say "furry," people know exactly what you mean.
I have to say, (personal) connotations aside, this is a good depiction of what makes someone "anthro" and what "furry."
Although... I have seen furry artists draw anthropomorphized plants ("treants"?) alongside furries, so I wonder whether you would consider it more accurate if they tagged those works as "anthro" rather than "furry"... Or perhaps it's best to be as specific as possible and tag them as both "furry" and "treant."
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:iconfirefilly1996:
Firefilly1996 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015  Student General Artist
To clear things up:

This is a good point there is also a disbelief that all quote "Furries" are rebellious and into that Bestiality crap. This is not true in any way, however like you pointed out there will always be some in this category that with push the limit and thus these stereotypes arise. In my belief the term "Furry" and "Anthro" is similar to that of a Native american Spirit guide. The animals that are chosen portray a certain person (or persons) in one respect or another. It also allows an escape from reality even just for a little while. It also creates pieces of a person's mind (such as multiple animals meant to portray one person) that are materialized into an animal. The term anthro means an animal portraying human like qualities and does not say anything about "yif" or animal sex. Furry can be summed up under two names Ferals (animals that look like animals but with human traits) and anthros (humans with animal traits, such as a tail, that walk upright.) There have been furrys and anthros even before they were called that, just take a look at any cartoon like lion king or a school mascot suit. There are dark things behind the terms, but not ALL of these people are like that. Some just like the idea of an animal to portray themselves, others connect with friends this way. Fury, wereaniaml, anthro, skinwalker whatever you call yourself it's all the same. The base meaning being that a person chooses to become an animal in an alternate life. I myself do not consider myself a furry because of the negative attitude towards them, but rather that I have an animal spirit guide. My animal allows me to depict my life and events surrounding it without judgement or harassment. 
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:iconaskashtheponitronic:
AskAshThePonitronic Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
alright so all im getting from this is at their is no such thing as anthro, because all your doing is explaining furries and giving next to no information about anthros .-.
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:iconsithcario:
Sithcario Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
:iconclapplz:
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:iconconsole-champion:
Console-Champion Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh thanks so much, I had no idea. I was wondering if there was a difference
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:iconisellahowler:
IsellaHowler Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I agree. Wow, I was always wondering this. Thank you.
Reply
:iconakotori:
akotori Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014
Thanks so much it was really helpful. I just have one question.... an animal withouth human shape, just animal appearance, but It's playing the guitar, it would be furry too??
Vinyl Scratch The DJ PON-3 Bunny Emoji-25 (Listening to music) [V2] 
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:iconblue-the-fox:
Blue-The-Fox Featured By Owner Edited Oct 3, 2014  Student Digital Artist
for anyone confused: it's like comparing Mcdonalds with the food industry. mcdonalds makes a type of food, which is unfortunetely sometimes nasty. the food industry makes all food. mcdonalds is an analogy for furries here. the food industry is anthro itself.

i shoul mention that the analogy here was based on the assumption that there is at least 1 mcdonalds meal that the reader of this comment actually enjoys.
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:icontexas-doughnut:
Texas-Doughnut Featured By Owner Edited Oct 2, 2014  Student Digital Artist
"If you are drawing ANY representation of an animal given human traits, it's Furry."

does it mean that ancient Egyptians were furries too?
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:iconblue-the-fox:
Blue-The-Fox Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Student Digital Artist
although the idea seems very odd; technically, yes.
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:icontexas-doughnut:
Texas-Doughnut Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014  Student Digital Artist
well, they were pretty powerfull.
so i dont feel sorry for making my stuff anymore.
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:iconblue-the-fox:
Blue-The-Fox Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014  Student Digital Artist
...although, here's the problem: you not a furry, you're a brony. That didnt start up until mlp, and thats with the generous assumption that it started with the original, not the modern one. Ponies, while technically anthropomorhic animals, do no apply to the ancient egyptian history, which depicts birds and wolf like creatures mostly. So, unless you also make artwork of something not mlp specific you cant really say that your art in any way connects with he ancient egyptians' anthropomorphic depictions of their gods.

simply put, anthropomorphic artwork stretches much farther back in history than mlp ponies do. MUCH furthur.
but that only adds another level to the heirarchy, doesnt really mean much else:

ANTHRO (main genre)
     [Furry (sub genre)
          [ponies (sub genre of the sub genre)
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:icondr-gunhammer:
Dr-GUNHaMMER Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
a furfag is a furfag
Reply
:iconblue-the-fox:
Blue-The-Fox Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Student Digital Artist
although i personally would use the kinder term "very confused furry", i agree. not all furries are the bad ones.
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:icondr-gunhammer:
Dr-GUNHaMMER Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
furries are gay = furfags
Reply
:iconblue-the-fox:
Blue-The-Fox Featured By Owner Edited Oct 3, 2014  Student Digital Artist
im straight. i do not support homosexuality. and i am, technically, a furry. so...to correct your statement,

"furries THAT are gay = [less vulgar equivalent here]"
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:icondr-gunhammer:
Dr-GUNHaMMER Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
Wtf-am-i-reading by Dr-GUNHaMMER  
if you are a furry you are naturally gay so hypocrite lol
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:iconblue-the-fox:
Blue-The-Fox Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I am straight. You're argument is invalid.
Reply
:icondr-gunhammer:
Dr-GUNHaMMER Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
i am not an argument. but you are gay.
Reply
:iconblue-the-fox:
Blue-The-Fox Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Alright, fine. You'll try to prove that i am gay with at least 3 facts.
They have to be based on things you've actually seen me say or do. and i mean, literally ME specifically.
here's my blog, it is a hub to every page on the internet that i post things on: h2fgamedev.blogspot.com/

I will use the same rule set to try proving that you are, in fact, presenting an argument.
I will not use generalizations or prejudice, i will only use your DA profile and any/all links you provide on it if necessary. but i doubt i'll need to, because this argument we are having coupled with a dictionary definition should be enough.

to win the game, you have to present 3 facts based on my actual posts on the internet, and i have to proove that you are presenting an argument with 3 facts as well.

there are only 2 ways to lose: backing out, and failing to provide the 3 facts.

I told you twice, and i'll be happy to tell you several more. I am straight. I do not find men to be attractive even in the slightest, and i am male.

have fun hunting for evidence you'll never find...
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(2 Replies)
:iconwhisker-cat:
Whisker-Cat Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014
They still don't seem that different to me. Probably because most of my anthro OCs talk and have human intelligence.
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:iconsolarpunk90:
Solarpunk90 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
What about characters like Simba from The Lion King and Rarity from My Little Pony, who walk on four legs instead of two but can talk, wear clothes, and exhibit human intelligence, are they considered furry or just talking animals?
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:iconrabbitmaskedman:
rabbitmaskedman Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016  Student Digital Artist
They are anthropomorphic animals, because they are animals that have human characteristics like the ones you mentioned, and if you go by this journal's statement that anthropomorphic animals are furry then the answer is; Yes, they are furry. 
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:iconrenamonmega:
RenamonMega Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
My mind is trying to process all of this information so far the classification between an Anthro and a Furry?

so how are they different, not trying to act like a smartass here but can a difference be noticed in the artwork.
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:iconkomonirate:
KomoniraTE Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Basically, "Anthro" is any humanoid. "Furry" are animal humanoids.

Ex.: a chair can be anthro, a potato can be anthro, a TV can be anthro, a fox can be anthro etc etc etc.
Furry is a sub-category. A dog can be furry, a parrot can be furry, a fish can be furry etc.
A humanoid flower is an anthro, but it is NOT a furry.
A humanoid cat is anthro AND furry.

Get it now? :)
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:iconrenamonmega:
RenamonMega Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Now I get it thanks Komi and I didn't know you were journal jumping too.
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:iconkomonirate:
KomoniraTE Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, actually I was looking for the difference between anthro and furry too! xD
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:iconrenamonmega:
RenamonMega Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Oh I never knew that until now :3
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:iconnustad95:
nustad95 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014
Anthro is the mother-category of this style of drawing and Furry is the sub-category. There's no difference between the two per se, but Anthro just describes things that are like a human but at the same time is not a human (aka humanoid).
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:iconrenamonmega:
RenamonMega Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Now I know about the mother category of Anthro yet their is not a way to describe their Sub category?
Reply
:icondarkhunter1987:
darkhunter1987 Featured By Owner Edited Jul 23, 2014   General Artist
in the end there really is no difference in the end both have animal parts both have boobs and both have been called animal sex and both have creepy porn stuff
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