When Being Human Just Isn't Enough

12 min read

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The allure of Anthro Art is obvious to anyone who ever “owned” and loved a pet.  (Only those who have never loved and shared lives with a pet speak of pet “ownership”!)  Once a bond has been formed between a human and an animal the rigid distinctions between what is human and what is animal begin to fracture.

The definition of “being” becomes suddenly far more expansive.  And soon the bonded human begins feeling spiritual affinities with the “animal” that are undeniably powerful and as “real” as any felt with other humans.  The desire to leave all the lies and hypocrisies of human society behind and join in with a simpler and somehow more “honest” society of different beings in nature can become palpable and intense.  “The grass is always greener…” and, oh!, to scamper across it on four liberating paws!

From Mickey Mouse cartoons to “Avatar”, the whimsical longing to combine the best of what it is to be human with the best of what it is to be dog, cat, fox, wolf, bear or other brother being is one that continues to produce some of the most imaginative stories and most compelling art with which we seek to satisfy our “dream” consciousness.  Some dream of getting bit by a radioactive rodent and waking up with X-man-ish superpowers.  But others look no further than the woods and dream of a bewitchment that infuses them only with some attributes of their favorite furry spiritual doppelganger.  Art attempts to define for us what it is to be human.  Sometimes it can provide as well a much needed escape from being human.


Some Questions for the Community

  1. Is the dream desire to have superhero powers more or less as healthy as the dream desire to be an anthropological hybrid being – or is any preferred escapist fantasy only healthy or is any preferred escapist fantasy healthy?
  2. If you are connected with your own personal animal spirit, how do you describe this state-of-being to those uninitiated in this phenomenon?  Have you had knowledge of this connection from childhood, or was there a specific moment of epiphany?
  3. Do you prefer anthro narratives that feature fantastical animal characters in unique fantasy settings, or do you like human shapeshifter characters in more or less natural contemporary settings?

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