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April 9, 2007
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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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:icondarkhunter1987:
darkhunter1987 Featured By Owner Edited 4 days ago  Student 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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:iconpuijela:
puijela Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014
:-?
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:iconstarnob:
StarNob Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
My friend had asked me why do some people get attracted/turned on by cartoon anthros? 
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:iconinayaforever:
InayaForever Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014
Personally (and to avoid confusion for myself), i define Anthro as a humanoid but not necessarily super beastial (Like Neko girls with cat ears, tails, maybe paws, that type of thing) and Furries as the fully beastial appearance, be it bipedal or not. Im aware its incorrect (by the definition of Anthropomorphise), but its easier and quicker to think of :P
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:iconrabbitmaskedman:
rabbitmaskedman Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I'l make a new dignified term for it, then.

Because furry will always sound utterly stupid.

Zoomorphic. 

Yes... That is LOADS better.
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:iconvm893:
VM893 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
what if you draw anthropomorphic animals with human features but don't portray them as sex objects? In that case, I may be an anthro artist.
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:iconmarshifluff:
MarshiFluff Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I consider myself an anthro because I dont like calling my work furries, cuz that leads almost the whole fandom to think I will at one point do Yiff, depending on how many furs look at it.
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:iconhypertiz:
HYPERTiZ Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Student General Artist
^ This
Im also classify myself as an Anthro as well. In school a couple years back (now year 12) my mate in college is like (lmao in year 7) i showed my mate this drawing "hypertiz.deviantart.com/art/Dr… pencil version etc)", "Oh your a Brony now...",

then i showed him this one:
 "hypertiz.deviantart.com/art/Se…"

"Oh now your a Brony AND a Furry now..." (*Conciously* dude wtf... T_T ) i assume he was just being a jerk.
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:iconhypertiz:
HYPERTiZ Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Student General Artist
i could end with  he is probably naive... T_T
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:iconrebeccannoying:
Rebeccannoying Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
In my opinion the terms are interchangeable unless you want to be technical, in which case anthropomorphic covers ANYTHING that displays human traits, the the furniture in Beauty and the Beast.  I think some people prefer to use the word anthro to remove themselves as much as possible to the bad stereotypes surrounding furries. Whether or not someone IS a furry is up to them. 
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