I wrote a letter to Prosperous Snow about what Anthros were. Here is that letter.
|In Newsletter "Fantasy Newsletter (October 12, 2011)" Prosperous Snowwoman talked about talking animals. In Newsletter "Fantasy Newsletter (November 8, 2011)" , she said that she was going to talk about Anthros for her next newsletter. Since she mentioned that she was researching them, and I’m quite knowledgeable on the topic, as I enjoy anthro stories, I decided to give her a hand, and I sent her a letter about the basics of anthros, which she published in Newsletter "Fantasy Newsletter (December 6, 2011)" . With a few alterations, this is the letter I sent her. May it help you as well.
Hello Reader, allow me to guide you in your quest to understand what Anthros are.
Anthro seems to come from the terms Anthropoid, Anthropo-, and Anthropomorphism. If you were to look at a Webster’s Dictionary, they’d tell you things like: Human-like; To have Human Characteristics, and a few other things along those lines. However, I’ll be honest, I have no idea where the term itself originated, or who first used it. But, it has been in use for at least ten years, from what I have found.
Now, while the word Anthro is relatively young, anthros themselves have been around for decades, or at least since Mickey Mouse and his rival Bugs Bunny have been around, if not longer.
What is an anthro you ask? Well, they all tend to be different, but here are the basics.
They are usually sentient, most of them capable of using speech.
Most of the time, they are bipedal, and walk on two legs like a human, but there are also those who are more along the lines of sentient beasts. Also, there are those known as Taurs, which, much like centaurs, have the lower body of a beast, but a humanoid upper body, with animal-like features.
Clothing seems to depend on the individual and/or story. In some stories, the anthros are in the nude, in others anthos wear clothing, and in others, clothing is something of a fashion accessory to show off wealth.
How anthros are treated also depends on the story. In some stories, they are treated just as animals who are intelligent. In other stories, they are treated as second-class citizens. In others, they and humans are equals, and in others still, they are superiors.
Depending on the story, the food web might still be in play, and humans might be included on the menu, or exempt. Basically, if normal animals aren’t available for carnivorous anthos to eat, they’ll eat herbivorous anthros, and/or humans.
Cross-breeding might be possible. While anthros typically breed with those of their same species, or one that is closely related to it, ie dogs and wolves, tigers and lions, and have healthy offspring, some breed with those who are outside of the genus, ie, a rabbit and a wolf, or an anthro and a human, and still have healthy children. Of course, in most stories, if a human is one of the parents, the child is usually an anthro, but sometimes the child is born human, as human genes are typically recessive compared to anthro genes. A mix-breed child tends to have traits of both species, such as, in the rabbit/wolf example, looking like a rabbit, but having the diet of a wolf.
Size is also dependant on the story. Some might be only a few inches tall, and might be pets, food or equals to humans. Then there are those who are human sized, and there are lots of possibilities, including superiors and masters over humans. Then there those who are giants, and there’s plenty of possibilities, though they are unlikely to be food or pets. Then there are stories where there is bunch of sizes, from tiny sized to giants.
Humans may or may not be in the story. In some stories, Humans may not have evolved, and other animals rose to sentiency. In some stories, anthros co-evolved alongside of humans. In futuristic stories, anthros are a result of scientific experimentation, but their fate may differ. Some may have violently overthrown humanity. Others might have been created to replace a dying human population, or even supplement it. Others still might co-exist with humanity, though whether they are servants, equals, or masters varies.
Origins of the Anthros also differ. Some are aliens, and may have come in peace, or to conquer. Some co-evolved with humans, and may live alongside of humans, or hidden. Others are the result of scientific research, and the blending of human and animal genes.
The laws also depend on the story. In some stories, the laws followed are very similar to our world, but there might be some exceptions, like whether or not multiple spouses are allowed or not, and whether or not a carnivore can eat sentient beings, and if there are any restrictions on those situations. In other stories, it’s survival of the fittest, with few laws being enforced.
Instincts and animal behaviors may or may not play out. Sometimes they can be public displays, and other times they are more private. For instance, Anthros might migrate like their wild counterparts. Also, if a woman were to be near her period, male anthros might fight for the right to be her mate, and might have sex with her in public, or wait until they were alone.
In some stories, an anthro’s species is much like a human’s social level. For instance, a rabbit marrying a wolf and the two of them having children could equate to a farmer’s son marrying a millionaire’s daughter, and having children.
Now, if all that has confused you, here are two well known Anthros, whom I’ve mentioned earlier, Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny. While not called Anthros, they fit the basic profile: Humanoid with Animal Characteristics, Bipedal, have Human Intelligence, Capable of Speech, can wear clothing, capable of reasoning, can form relationships with others, and a few other things.
Well, I hope this helps you out.
From, BIG BAD WOLF is Merry
PS. Here are some of the Common Anthro stories.
Everyday Life: Basically, things are similar to Real-Life, except that parts of the population (or the whole population) are Anthros.
Sex and Erotica: Basically, the story is about sexual encounters. Can be homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual in nature.
Enslavement: Either humans or anthros are slaves to the other.
Vore (cannibalism): Part of the population is food for the other.
Giant-Themes: Part of the population are giants. Vore and crushing of things, and people, tends to show up.
Fantasy: Magic wands and spells are here.
Sci-Fi: Laser guns and aliens are here.
War: Humans Verses Anthros, or nation verses nation, or something.
Combination: Any (or All) of the above can be mixed.
PPS. For examples of Anthro stories, check out the following. Mind you though, some are hundreds of pages long.