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Submitted on
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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Whisker-Cat Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014  New member
They still don't seem that different to me. Probably because most of my anthro OCs talk and have human intelligence.
TheStarsBeyondtheSky Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014
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?
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.
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? :)
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.
KomoniraTE Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, actually I was looking for the difference between anthro and furry too! xD
RenamonMega Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Oh I never knew that until now :3
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).
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?
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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