Chapter Fifteen – The Future of Fur


The Future of Fur

Be a good animal, true to your animal instincts.


EARLY IN 2016 The New Yorker printed “Beastie Boys and Girls: The New Anthropomorphism.” In addition to the furry “movement,” the article reported on a pair of phenomena that had escaped my notice: “On the Web, a virtual wilderness of humans tweet vicariously as bears, rhinos, owls, cobra, ferrets . . . to say nothing of cats and dogs.”

The tweeters weren’t basement-dwellers either; the people using Twitter as animals “included ministers, [museum staffers] and a health-care researcher.” The animals’ tweets tended towards zen-like koans (due in large part to Twitter’s 140 character limit per tweet) on the order of “I think I would like to have more eyes” (@A_single_bear), “You’ve really got to admire Carmen San Diego” (@bronxZoosCobra) or “TOOK A NAP ON THE WAY TO TAKING A NAP AND DREAMED I WAS TAKING A NAP WHILE ON THE WAY TO A NAP napception WE MUST GO SLEEPER” (@sockington, a Massachusetts cat; the human behind Sockington says a lot of the cat’s tweets were the result of “building a fantasy life living inside the cat.”)

The bear has almost 73,000 followers, the cobra 162,000 and the cat one-point-four million, dozens of whom respond to his every tweet. There’s no small number of canines tweeting their doggy thoughts as well; to paraphrase that legendary New Yorker cartoon, “On the Internet no one knows you’re not a dog.”

…If the gloves were off, if there were no legal or moral restrictions, if every biological obstacle could be overcome, what would it take to create a truly anthropomorphic being, a fully intelligent, speaking individual halfway between human and animal in appearance? In other words, an actual living furry?

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The True Story of America’s Most Misunderstood Subculture