As a forum and blog addict, I have noticed that many OVC sites have a fair number of users who claim to be “animal-people”, or therians – or even Vampyre-therian hybrids. I thought I would do some research into the matter, and chat to some therians myself to try and get an understanding of this phenomenon, but came out with next to nothing that could be considered a rational explanation for this condition – but I did develop some interesting hypotheses around the topic. This then, is the Parable of the Were-Duck. Come… to the duck side.
Once upon a time there was a man who believed that spiritually he was part-duck. He had a strong connection with his feathered friends, and he was known to have episodes in which he would spend the afternoon sitting amongst them in the duck pond at the park, making quacking sounds at strangers who passed them on the banks, eagerly hoping that they would toss him a few bread crumbs. Everyone believed him to be mad.
This certainly conjures up quite a ridiculous image, and perhaps (if you follow my logic) that is why the were-duck has never existed.
The first observation I made was that the majority of those people adopting a Therian identity seemed to be “connected” to predatory animals such as wolves, felines, foxes, birds of prey, etc., while others aligned themselves with animals of beauty and romance – horses, swans, and deer.
Considering this, I asked myself why do we never encounter the were-duck, the baboon-therian, or someone who was deeply connected to a cow on the astral plane? With the lack of the popularity of these latter animals, one can already begin to assume that this idea of therianism is only a delusion being lived out by these people, as they wish to be connected with popular, majestic animals of power and beauty.
“Wait til you see my duck-side come out… I have this urge to sit in a pond and quack at people with the hope of getting some bread tossed my way.”
Upon reflection however, one must remember that these associations of animals with human traits is at it’s core a form of anthropomorphism. It was humans who said the lion was brave, the fox was cunning and the doe gentle – but these animals do not choose to be this way – they merely act on instinct. Therefore for a therian to act upon these characteristics, all they are doing is taking the level of anthropomorphism and twisting it into something to best suit the ideals or parameters of their personal delusion.
The animal in vogue also appears to be affected by the global cultural demographic, whereby in certain parts of the world, people regard certain animals to be greater than others in accordance with the country or region’s religious and cultural beliefs and upbringings.
The Therian Stick Test
When questioning therians about how their animal-side manifested, every single one regaled me with tales of how they involuntarily growl and hiss in certain situations, how they have this need to be in nature, how (for example) they get on so well with dogs because they sense the wolf within that person – and, guess what – the full moon seems to make them feel more like the animal they share a connection with. Now this seems all very well and dandy – if it is your cup of tea, that is – but I had to ask the question: if you throw a stick for a therian, will they bring it back?
As it would appear, they do not – nor do they sniff your behind in greeting, and feline-therians do enjoy swimming and taking baths. From this it becomes obvious to me that they only seem to have the more desirable behavior in common with their animals – a little “pick-and-choose” for something that is supposed to “naturally occur” in some folk.
“I’ve seen your duck side. Its not to be trifled with. Some mysteries are better left alone.”
Now, some explain their therianism in different ways – some believe it to be a connection to an animal spirit guide, or totem. Some put it down to a sort of species-dysphoria – feeling like an animal trapped in a human’s body – and others say they have transformed into their animals on the astral plane and that, in their dreams, they are that animal. But taking into account that there is no sense of the over-all being being present in that person, I can only deduce that given the benefit of the doubt, therians truly believe their claims – and that therianthropy is a subconscious attempt to make sense of certain aspects of human nature, which perhaps are not that of an animal but of a more primitive sense of being human – which through the development of our existence – evolution, if you will – we have lost because we have no natural need for it anymore.
“Why are there no were-ducks or were-hippos, and if you throw a stick for a therian will they truly bring it back?”
Wolves in Human Clothing
To explain my theory further, we must look at the characteristics taken from these animals. The need to hunt, get in touch with nature and have dominion over other animals by being at the top of the food chain, and so on and so forth are all characteristics that were once attributed to humans as well. Through the rise of civilization we have ceased to rely on these instinctual skills necessary for survival – however, humans remain as animals to some degree – so therefore perhaps it is that such things, in their extremes, have remained dormant within our being. They do manifest, if not as blatant in everyday life – our need to be at the top of which ever sociological hierarchies we feel are important to dominate, our natural need to follow a person of strength, our survival skills that kick-in when faced with danger or death – these things were not taught, they are ingrained instinctual characteristics that “came with the package”.
My theory is that therians – those that truly believe in the existence of their animal-side – are not connecting to some animal spirit or animal-nature but rather just connecting more intensely with something that is present in all of us, something forgotten that allowed us to be in sync with nature rather than in conflict with it.
Some might say that the Vampyre is calling the werewolf delusional, and so – to conclude this piece, I wish to stress that I do not wish to ruffle any feathers – or fur amongst the Therian community – but rather to offer a different theory and of course invite anyone to challenge it, as I believe questioning the world around us is vitally important. We are part of a strange, avant-garde existence, and education and discussion amongst ourselves – as well as building the fundamental ideas of what we believe in, must come before we are ready to take on the world – and before we can attempt to gain acceptance from the world together.