Since the birth of civilization, man has used the images of animals to communicate. Cave paintings of animals
have recorded history. Stories of animals have taught our children valuable lessons. Some ancient societies
even used small hieroglyphs of animals as language itself! Animals are very important to us. Since time
dawned on humans, animals have been our friends, our enemies, our teachers and even our gods. We have
moved through the facets of time walking on two legs, but the trail we leave is of those who walk on four. Long
before a human-looking God occupied the heavens, the shapes of animals were in the stars.

For humans, animals are perfect icons to represent things that are important to us. Every animal possesses
its own distinct qualities and flaws. And each animal has a unique image we can use to associate with
those qualities and flaws. It's a language unto itself. And we use that language in creative, fun and important
ways -- even today!

Without our animal symbols, the Miami Dolphins would be the Miami Intelligent-Yet-Very-Quick-And-Elegants.
You would no longer own a Ford Mustang. It would be a Ford Wild-Majestic-And-Powerful. We use animals to
capture the essence of their character in our communication, and in doing so, we add a fanciful and whimsical
flair to our society and our human world. We use anthropomorphic (or "human-like") animals in our entertainment
as animated features. Animals are in our religions and philosophies. We use animals to represent our vehicles,
commercial products, sports teams, street names, cities, buildings and even our countries!

But most of all, we use animals to represent ourselves.

"Joe was a bear of a man, mostly because he ate like a pig. He was a packrat and stubborn as a mule, which
is probably why he was usually sick as a dog and as grouchy as an old badger."

Have you ever used any of these expressions before? Without the animals in this description, it simply wouldn't
make any sense. From the beginning of civilization to the present day, we have injected aspects of the animal
kingdom into our human society to help us in our communication, our philosophies and our beliefs -- even to the
point of inventing new animals like dragons, unicorns and werewolves. It is our animal language.

A "furry" is a person who loves and embraces this animal language more than anyone else. Not just to use
the well-known cliches here and there, but to represent himself and the world around him in relation to the
animal kingdom in every way possible. As a car company would use the symbol of an animal to capture the
essence of their vehicle, furries use animals to capture the essense of themselves as individuals!

As a furry, instead of saying, "I'm a fairly quick witted person. I'm sly and can slip my way out of a bad
situation," you would simply say, "I am a fox!" Ideas, emotions and beliefs can also be expressed with
animals. A furry is someone who is fond of expressing himself in this way in every day life.

As such, the furry fandom is a place for people who have a core interest in this animal symbolism to commune
in the way they most enjoy. They communicate who they are, how they feel, what they believe and how they
live by invoking the characteristics of the animals. Many furries are talented and accomplished artists and will
express animal symbolism in drawings and stories. Others might wear a horse tail or cat ears. Furries are
simply the modern equivalent of the old animal shamans who told stories and drew pictures of animals to
represent the human world.

However, though animals have often represented virtues, they have also symbolized violence,
uncontrolled sexual desires, sin, hate and lawlessness. Satan himself has horns and a tail.
A vast amount of negative dogma (no pun intended) has been placed on furries for this reason.
Because of this, and with the help of sensationalist media, the sub-culture is currently widely misunderstood
and even feared and disliked by some people.

Naturally, every group has an amount of bad representatives.
The furry ones represent the negative aspects of humanity -- also with animal symbolism. However, it is
important to remember that the furry sub-culture is not about the qualities they communicate
but the way in which they communicate them. Every person has different ideas and beliefs. Some
of them are positive and some are negative. What makes a person a furry is not their beliefs, but the
way in which they express those beliefs. Looking on the furry fandom as a perverted group because
a furry has expressed a socially unpopular idea in a furry way would be like considering German a
filthy language because someone curses with it. Ideas can be negative. Communication is not.

The furry culture is about communication. And communication has been with mankind since the beginning.
If you take a moment to consider history, the fact that "furries" have predated most modern gods
should indicate that they are most certainly a permanent part of the human condition, and will likely be a part
of society, in one form or another, for as long as humans exist.