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alt.lifestyle.furry FAQ
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URL: http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/furry/lifestyle.txt
Last-Modified: May 8, 2001

ALT.LIFESTYLE.FURRY - Frequently Asked Questions

        0)    What is alt.lifestyle.furry?

Part 1: General furry lifestyle questions
        1.1)   What is a furry?
        1.2)   What is a lifestyle? - for the purposes of this group.
        1.3)   Ok, but what is a _furry_ lifestyle?
        1.4)   Why do we lead furry lifestyles?
        1.5)   Where and how can I meet other people who live this  
Part 2:  Furry lifestyle lingo explained

         2.1)   What is a personal furry?
         2.2)   What is a were / theriomorph?
         2.3)   What is a totem animal?       
         2.4)   What is a fursuit?
         2.5)   What is a plushie? What is a plushophile?
         2.6)   What is toonophilia?
         2.7)   What is zoophilia?
         2.8)   What is a macrophile / macro furry?
         2.9)   What is  'CF' and 'furry cons'?
         2.10)  What is The Furvey?
         2.11)  Neologisms and acronyms

Part 3: appropriate and innapropriate topics

         3.1)   What topics are appropriate in here?
         3.2)   What topics are not appropriate?
                      1)  Personal attacks
                      2)  Furry fandom
                      3)  Crossposting to AFF                      
                      4)  Sexual graphicness
         3.3)   Can I post stories here?
         3.4)   What about religion?

Part 4:  What's so different about ALF?
Part 5:   Who wrote this FAQ?

0) What is alt.lifestyle.furry?

        alt.lifestyle.furry (or ALF) is a newsgroup for and about
people who relate strongly to animals and/or furries (see definition
below) in a way that impacts their personalities and/or way of life.       

It was created by some readers of another newsgroup, alt.fan.furry,
who came to realise that they had much more in common with each other
than with most other 'furry fans' who consider furriness to be "only"
a hobby or a literary/artistic genre. The creators of ALF felt a
separate newsgroup was needed for discussing these topics because,
although the subject matter is similar, the perspective from which
they are discussed on ALF seems to be fundamentally different, and
because many of the topics discussed on ALF would likely be
inappropriate for a newsgroup with an all-ages readership, such as

Part 1:  General Furry Lifestyle questions

1.1) What is a furry?

        Furry is a word which has probably been asked to do a little
too much work. It has numerous meanings, and it's not particularly
easy to find two people who agree on the precise definition for any of
them. The original two definitions we supplied in the first version of
the FAQ are:

1. an anthropomorphic animal character. i.e. an animal with human

2. a human who relates strongly, in whatever way, to the idea of the
    characters outlined in the previous definition. This may involve
    anything from a person who simply enjoys viewing furry fanzines or
    films, to someone who actually desires to be a 'real' furry, or
    believe that they are literally a non-human trapped within a human

        But not all ALF regulars are interested in anthropomorphics.
Some are largely unaware of the 'furry fandom,' or are simply
uninterested in it for a variety of reasons. Most of us who created
ALF were 'fans' of one kind or another, and this coloured our view-
point perhaps more than we realised.
        So, after much discussion, we'd like to add a third
definition, one that tries to include everyone who has made ALF a

3. a person with an important emotional/spiritual connection with an  
    animal or animals, real, fictional or symbolic.

        We would recommend reading the FAQ for alt.fan.furry, which
provides much more thorough descriptions of and information about
furries in general. This can be found, along with a great deal of
other furry-relayed stuff, at PeterCat's page at


1.2) What is a lifestyle? - for the purposes of this group.

        Lifestyle is a bad word these days, but we use it because
there really isn't any other word that describes what we mean simply
and clearly. Your lifestyle includes everything you _choose_ to do in
your life. It's the behaviors that you use to define your life, the
way you choose to conduct yourself in your personal life. Every choice
from living arrangements to clothing choices to tastes in food to
sexual preferences.

1.3) Ok, but what is a _furry_ lifestyle?

        We can't tell you :)

        Actually one of the reasons that ALF was newgrouped is because
many of the topics which fall within our charter were ruled 'not part
of the fandom' by some readers of alt.fan.furry. There is a certain
logic to this claim, but we don't intend to have a similar conflict on
this newsgroup. It's part of the philosophy of ALF that a person's
'furry lifestyle' is whatever the person concerned asserts that it is.

        In more general terms however, a furry lifestyle is a
lifestyle which is informed or influenced markedly by the furriness of
the person who leads it. As one furry puts it:

         "It's whatever you feel like doing that expresses how you
feel. You can purr when happy, you can stalk when angry, you can go
into heat at the drop of a bunny. When you consciously choose to act a
certain way because of a furry or a furry idea, it's a part of your
furry lifestyle."

        Some of the more common activities concepts or beliefs which
'lifestyle' furries sometimes refer to on ALF include totem animals
and spirit guides, theriomorphosis, plushophilia, fursuiting, personal
furrys, and zoophilia. This is a woefully incomplete list, of course.
Don't worry, we'll get around to explaining the terminology later.

1.4) Why do we live furry lifestyles?

        The best way to understand 'why' is to hear from some of the
people involved.

        "I live a furry lifestyle because it is enjoyable and helps me
understand myself.  People (esp. me) spend most of their time inside
their own mind where your physical form is not important...so why
should I be limited to a human form?
        "...perhaps as an expression of this I do a lot of 'furry'
type things like collecting plushies and writing furry stores."

                                                    - David Formosa

        "I guess I am compelled by what I perceive furry to be. I see
love, acceptance and sensuality among furrys that I don't often see
among humans. Furrys often seem to be more sensitive to the needs of
others and they are generally better at caring for this earth we live

                                                    - Galen Foxwolfie

        "We live furry lifestyles...because we feel that we have, or
are becoming more like these furry beings, or that the furry beings
are guiding our lives."

                                                    - Kliah Foxwings

        "Why? Because there's some connection in your mind between you
and some animal, real or imaginary, sentient or not, and it's
important to you to externalise this in some way."

                                                    - Ron Orr

        "For me, it makes me feel a little closer to creatures that I
know I could never associate with otherwise."

                                                    - Steekman

        "For many people, it gives them an outlet for emotions that
would otherwise be repressed.  The world in which humans live today is
very different and much more complicated than the one in which we
evolved, and in many ways we are out of our element.  A furry
lifestyle can be a way to remain connected with one's most inner self,
the emotional embodiment of one's genetic heritage."

                                                     - Brad Austin

        "Some choose the Lifestyle of a Furry for largely the same
reasons that anyone else chooses to embrace a lifestyle that reflect
what they believe and why. The best and most valid answers to this
question spring from individuals, rather than groups at large, because
Beings Furry are, above all else, individuals."

                                                      - Roci

        "It beats NOT living one.  For most of us, the society we live
in can't or won't understand, yet, so there's an obvious risk in being
actively furry.  But, you are what you is.  To hide the furry aspect
of our lives would mean being part of the big lie, being what we are
not.  This is a critical time of the world trying to achieve a global,
multi-cultural, multi-lifestyle view.  We'd be sabotaging that by
disavowing the furry way of life."

                                                      - Electric Keet

        "For me purrsonally, being furry allows me to explore
a side of me that would otherwise be hidden away, the sensual and
animalistic side that society at large says should be suppressed.
I see too much hate and injustice in the world, and it's wonderful to
be part of something that is (IMNSHO) tolerant and accepting of
differences within the group.  Diversity is not a weakness that should
be eliminated.  It's a great strength.  And I see tolerance more among
furrys in this newsgroup than I do among the general public, where
people are afraid to be 'different' because they fear they will be

                                                      - WebKitty

        "It is basing our lifestyle about a spiritual and artistic
tradition that stretches back to the dawn of humanity."

                                                      - David Formosa

1.5) Where and how can I meet other people who lead this lifestyle?

     The ideal venue is a furry convention (see 2.9). The entire breadth of
furrydom is represented at such events, and you're likely to run across
_someone_ you can relate to!
     In the meantime, right here is a good place to start...

Part 2: Furry lifestyle lingo explained

        This is where we try to demystify some of those esoteric
sounding terms and phrases. This isn't meant to be a complete furry
glossary, but hopefully you'll come away from this section not quite
so thoroughly bamboozled.

2.1) What is a 'personal furry'

        It's times like this you curse the multiple meanings of the
word furry, because in essence a personal furry is a furry's image of
themselves as a furry. If you prefur, a personal furry is an
anthropomorphic animal persona which a human furry assumes.

        "For example, my personal furry is a 6ft tall digigrade red
fox-morph. Your personal furry (or furry persona, or furry alter ego)
is basically the kind of animal you would like to be, in whatever form
(normal animal, animaltaur, anthropomorphic animal etc) you like."
                                                - Locandez

        For some this furry alter-ego is expressed in role-playing,
either on MUCKs, IRC, or in general communication. When someone lapses
into third person in email, and sends you something like this:

   <Shinda smiles and snuggles you with her tail>

you are being treated to a display of affection by a personal furry.
Lucky you.
        Of course the idea of a furry persona can go a lot deeper than
just role-playing. Whereas some furries enjoy slipping 'into
character' so to speak, many others consider their personal furries to
be permanent attributes; their 'true selves', unhindered by the human
physical form they must wear in mundane life. This of course opens
doors into spiritual realms involving topics like the transmigration
of souls. Subjects like this involve many questions and no unequivocal
answers. Exploring such topics is one of the reasons for the existence
of this newsgroup.
        On a more prosaic level furry alter-egos and role-playing can
be a way of developing and strengthening positive qualities and
character traits - traits which seem somehow more synonymous with an
animal identity than a human one. Perhaps ultimately it is a
roundabout way of re-intergrating the human soul; of getting back in
touch with our own true status as human animals. 

2.2)  What is a Were / Theriomorph?

	Since the beginnings of human society there have been people who
have claimed the ability to 'shift' into the form of another animal,
either physically or mentally. The word 'theriomorph,' meaning 'having
an animal shape,' has been coined to describe these people. A similar
word, 'therianthropy' denotes the ability to change between human and
animal forms.
	The best-known examples of this in European legendry are werewolves
(from Germanic roots meaning 'man-wolf.') Though not strictly correct,
the term 'were' has been used (werewolf, werecat, werebear)
interchangably with 'theriomorph.'
	There are many people today who believe they posess this ability.
Most only claim to be able to 'shift' mentally, into the mindset of
some animal they feel some kind of spiritual tie to; some have also
claimed to be able to shift physically, although there has never been
any definite proof of this. 
	If you're interested in the subject, you might wish to look in on
the newsgroup alt.horror.werewolves (a large and comprehensive FAQ is
posted there periodically), or check out 

   The WEREweb        http://www.swampfox.demon.co.uk/utlah/    

2.3)  What is a Totem Animal?

        Totemism is a belief system which is traditionally associated
with pre-literate societies. Its forms are so varied across the globe
that it probably resists a neat or single explanation. Probably the
most salient feature however is that of a tribal group associating
itself with a particular species of animal, to which clan or tribe
members are related by mythical ancestry. In some societies totem
animals are associated with ritual, but in North American native
culture this is less the case.
        Some Australian aboriginal societies believe in a one-on-one
relationship between a human and his or her personal totem animal.
This relationship sometimes involves a transference of magical powers
to the human. It is this sort of individual totemism which is popular
amongst furries.
        The entire subject of totemism is highly personal and
individual, and it is probably best not to offer any definitive
account of it. Let's just say that plenty of furries either have, or
are in search of their totem animal, for spiritual guidance, or just
to help cement their furry identity. 

2.4)  What is a fursuit?

        'Fursuit' is another name for an animal costume, generally
referring to one intended to be as realistic as the maker can achieve,
although 'mascot'-style costumes are often included, and some furries
have/wear/make both.
        Some furries like a more 'toonish' type of fursuit. Not a
mascot, but something that is as close to some of their favourite toon
fantasies as possible. It's rather like trying for realism where the
desired goal is an already anthropomorphic character.
        By putting on a fursuit, you _become_ a furry, as close as
you'll get without surgery, anyhow. But BE WARNED; not everyone in an
animal costume is a furry!
        Many furries feel that donning a fursuit helps them move
closer to their 'true' furry form, and it's not at all unusual for
furries to spend a lot of time in their suits, including sleeping in
them.  It has been reported by some furries that making love in a
fursuit can be... very furry indeed! 

        For information on a mailing list for those interested in
fur-suit construction, see:


2.5)  What is a plushie? What is a plushophile?  

        Plushies are stuffed animals. The teddy bear is the original
plushie, but nowadays there is a plethora of plushie species
        A plushie of a favourite or totem animal species can help a
furry feel closer to that species in everyday 'mundane' life. Other
furries may just collect plushies because, let's face it, plushies are
cute. More than a few furries have a love of plushies which goes a lot
deeper than this, however. A plushophile is a person whose love of
plush often extends into sexual, romantic or spiritual realms. 
        For more information on plushies and the furries who share
their lives with them, see

    Capt. Packrat's Plush Central 
    Webkitty's Plush Page

2.6) What is Toonophilia?

        I'll bet you've guessed already :)

        Toonophilia is a love of cartoon characters. Of course for our
purpose we would limit the discussion to furry toonophilia. 'A love of
cartoon characters' can mean a tendency to become deeply emotionally
involved with a toon, or it can mean a sexual attraction, or both. One
of the most celebrated toonophiles is the famed underground artist
Robert Crumb, who stunned 'mundane' audiences by admitting to having
been sexually attracted to Bugs Bunny - though some might say that the
most famous toonophile of all was 'Uncle Walt'.
        Perhaps the most well-rounded definition of a furry toonophile
is a person who regards furry toons with the same range of emotions he
or she would bestow on a human. We'd love to have a dollar for every
furry who's had a serious crush on Mrs Brisby or Justin from 'The
Secret of NIMH'.

          The alt.tv.tinytoon.fandom FAQ can be found at

2.7) What is zoophilia?

        Within furrydom zoophilia simply means a love of animals, and
a zoophile is someone who loves animals. It's probably best to apply
the same principle we used for toonophiles: a zoophile feels for
non-humans in the same way that humans generally feel for each other.
Zoophilia can mean sexual attraction, but one shouldn't assume that is
the case if someone tells you 'I'm a zoo'. Many furries are zoos in
the non-sexual sense of the word. Some furries are also sexual
        We understand that it  is asking quite a lot of some people to
cope with the idea that furry zoos are welcome on alt.lifestyle.furry,
but when we formed this newsgroup we decided that it was up to each
individual to decide what is and isn't part of their furry lifestyle.
We know that lots of zoos are also furry, and we know that there is
nowhere else in furrydom that they can even mention both words in the
same sentence without being abused. It's the same problem that plush
furries have had; the same problem Christian furries have had. In this
place you can be a Christian zoo plushophile furry all at once without
        If the 'Z' word is a bit threatening to you, be assured the
same restrictions on explicit sexual content apply to zoo posts as to
every other post on ALF. Meantime, get to know some of our furry zoo
posters; this is their newsgroup, too.

2.8) What is a Macrophile / Macro Furry?

         A Macro Furry is simply a giant furry (meaning a 50' fox, not
a 50' person who uses this newsgroup. To the best of our knowledge the
latter does not exist.) A Macrophile is someone who enjoys fantasising
about relationships with Macro Furries. Furry Macrophilia is basically
the furry equivalent of the Giantess phenomenon in the 'mundane'
realm, except that Macro Furries tend not to be so exclusively female,
nor so exclusively sexual.
        Macro Furry artwork encompasses everything from harmless,
funny, G-rated work, to scenes of mass carnage and overt sexuality. At
the mass-destruction end of the spectrum, the archetypal Macro Furry
is probably Godzilla.
        A good site for macrophilia info is 'The Macrocosm'


2.9) What are 'furry cons'?

        Numerous furry conventions are now held annually, most of them in
the United States. They are events where those interested in furrys gather to
discuss, learn, and have fun, and meet other like-minded people. 
        Perhaps the most popular amongst readers of this newsgroup is
Anthrocon, held over the Fourth of July long weekend, presently near
Philadelphia (homepage: http://anthrocon.org/ ). Others in the USA include:

        Midwest FurFest (http://www.furfest.org/)
        Mephit Furmeet (http://www.mephitfurmeet.org/)
        Confurence (http://www.confurence.net/)

        and, in Europe: Eurofurence (http://www.eurofurence.org/) 

        There is also sometimes a furry 'presence' at non-furry cons such as
science fiction conferences, even in places as far-flung as New
Zealand. Keeping an eye on alt.lifestyle.furry, and alt.fan.furry (and
possibly posting a query) may help you find one near(ish) to you.

2.10)  What is the Furvey?

       The 'Furvey' is a furry lifestyle themed questionaire/survey,
touching upon subjects like animal spirituality, furry sexuality, living a
furry lifestyle etc. Its main use on alt.lifestyle.furry is as a self
contained delurking form - you fill in a blank copy and post it to the
group, thus introducing yourself to the online furry lifestyle community. It
is certainly _not_ compulsory to delurk using a Furvey (i.e. don't feel that
you can't parcipitate in ALF discussions until you complete one), but most
furs end up doing one anyway ;)

       There are no set rules for completing a Furvey; simply write as much
or as little as you want, and feel free to omit any questions which you do
not want to answer. The only thing which you should remember is that you are
_not_ permitted to post anything flamey or judgemental to ALF, whether
replying to a Furvey or not. If you are disgusted by a particular question
then simply ignore it and move on to the next one, rather than offending
anyone with a casual "that's gross" answer.

       When posting your Furvey to the group (either as an original article
or a follow-up to the automatic posting), it is usually a good idea to
mention your name in the subject header, e.g. "JacKat's Furvey", rather than
something vague like "Delurk". This will make your Furvey stand out from the
crowd :)

       The Furvey is automatically posted to alt.lifestyle.furry on the 1st
and 15th of every month, or you can fetch it from this URL:

2.11)  Neologisms and Acronyms

        The Internet is crawling with jargon which can be pretty
formidable to a newbie (if you don't know what a newbie is, you're
probably a newbie.) To make things worse Furrydom has a whole set of
its own acronyms and neologisms (new words.) Here are some of the more
common ones, plus a few more general purpose acronyms which crop up in
furry-talk a fair bit. 

        Let's start with the ever-popular 'Yiff'! 
        Ask ten furries what 'yiff' means and you'll get fifteen
answers. One well-travelled explanation is that it's the sound
Siberian foxes make when mating, which has led to its becoming an
all-inclusive sexual term. _Very_ context-sensetive.

        There are a lot of neologisms in furrydom that are used as
interjections. Ferrets 'meep,' canids 'errf' and 'yip' and 'yarf,'
felids 'murr' and 'mrrr,' These words usually appear in email and in
conversations online.
        An additional note that seems apropos: "Depending on the
context, Meep can mean the same thing as 'yiff', but is often used by
people for other reasons. I still like "Mustelid Expression of Erotic
Pleasure" myself!"
        You see? there's an explanation for everything.

        MUCK, MUD, MOO etc. are all alternate acronyms for online
multi-player games played using computers. There are quite a large
number of them, and the variety among them is staggering. In the furry
community, these games have become large virtual social gatherings,
and there are many that are slanted towards their preferences. Their
popularity stems from ones ability to look and act _exactly_ the way
one wishes while playing.  For more information see Rhal's Furry MU*s

        IRC means Internet Relay Chat. IRC is run on several different
networks, which are divided into a variety of different 'channels'.
These channels are usually devoted to a specific topic, and yes there
are furry IRC's. In IRC you communicate in real time with whoever else
is on the same channel, so IRC channels are virtual meeting places
where conversation revolves around a specific topic or theme. You need
special software to use IRC, for instance mIRC. This software can be
downloaded from the web. 

        RL means real life; VR means 'virtual reality' but usually
refers to what goes on over the Internet. 

        'Spooge' is an abstract noun meaning furry erotica, or a verb
or concrete noun associated with what tends to happen to male furries
who view said erotica. There should probably be a term for the female
equivalent, but no-one seems to have coined it yet.

Part3:  Appropriate and inappropriate topics

3.1) What topics are appropriate in here?

        Any time you wish to discuss a part of your furriness, or wish
to talk about how furriness effects you in RL, or how something would
affect _anyone's_ furriness in RL, it's on-topic. As long as you can
relate it to a personal sense of furriness about yourself or someone
else, it's on-topic. 

        This can include, but isn't limited to; furry philosophy
(Squirrels believe chaos and random movement make your soul enriched!)
furry actions (Why, yes, I do spin around three times in bed before I
sleep, why?) furry desires (Wow, what a cutie! If only she had a
tail...) or furry habits (Did you ever notice how that guy wiggles his
nose a lot?)

3.2) What topics are not appropriate?

        This group is about people and how their lives are affected by
furries and furriness, which leaves a lot of topics open for
discussion. There are, however, a few things that are _not_ acceptable
on a.l.f.
        1) Personal attacks: Posts which show intolerance of other
users of this newsgroup are very much frowned upon. There are a great
number of ways to be furry and we all have to get along. You should
act in a tolerant manner as it encourages others to be tolerant to
        If you start advocating that what one person says is more
right than another, it's not acceptable. No one has the right to judge
whether or not how someone lives their life is better or worse than
another; that is simply a matter of personal taste. You may disagree
with how someone lives, but you cannot say that what they do is right
or wrong for anyone but yourself. Even then, statements such as "I
find that completely disgusting!" are not acceptable. We don't expect
everyone to find everyone else's lifestyle agreeable, but if, for
instance,  you happen to be appalled by something that Blackwolf the
necromancer does with his Gummi Bears we'd prefer you kept a lid 
on it :)
        2) Furry Fandom: Articles about comics/drawings/furry
paraphernalia and things are discouraged, because alt.fan.furry exists
specifically for the discussion of these topics.
        We do not want to enforce a strict off-topic rule about
fandom-related subjects, but it's important that we keep a distinction
between ALF and alt.fan.furry, and this is the place we have to draw the line.
        There is an easy way to tell whether your post is on-topic for ALF.
If the post is purely about artwork, comics, tv shows - in other words the _
products_ of furry fandom, then it is off-topic, and we ask that you post it
instead to alt.fan.furry. If however the post is mainly about _you,_ or
other furries - if, in other words, mentioning the artwork or whatever is a
means of opening up and saying something about your feelings, thoughts or
experiences as a furry, then it's acceptable. It comes back to our old
definition; that ALF is about people, not things.

        3) Cross-posts to AFF: Please don't cross-post articles between
alt.lifestyle.furry and alt.fan.furry. Even if you feel your posting is
on-topic for both groups, cross-posted articles typically result in
cross-posted threads to which many people post replies without realizing
their posts are going to both groups, and will likely post to ALF without
paying attention to ALF's posting guidelines. This has caused problems for
the readers of both groups in the past. If you want to post the same article
to ALF and AFF, it is possible to do so in a way that avoids this problem.
Simply post two copies of the article, with each copy going to only one of
the two groups. This is called multi-posting the article rather than
cross-posting it.

        4) Sexual Graphicness: First off, let us say that any part of
your sexual lifestyle that you can relate to your furriness _is on
topic._ What _aren't_ on topic, are extremely graphic and descriptive
articles on how exactly you do such-and-such with so-and-so.

         This means that while it's fine for you to discuss
homosexuality or BDSM or whatever _as it relates to your furriness,_
it is considered poor taste to give extremely pointed renditions of
said actions in this newsgroup. Why? Because although this is an adult
newsgroup, and sex is on-topic, it's not a sex-group.  alt.sex.furry,
and several Fur* hierarchy newsgroups exist for this purpose (though
remember that the definition of furry for these groups will not
include many of the topics we allow here.)

3.3) Can I post stories here?

        Yes, you can post stories here. You've already seen that we're
reluctant to go around proclaiming what is and isn't furry, so we'll
trust your common-sense. No graphic sex please.

3.4)  What about religion?

        For many furries, furry spirituality and religion are
insperable topics. Elsewhere on Usenet organised religion has been a
regular target for flames. In RL furry pagans and followers of less
'mainstream' religions have often been shown an equivalent lack of
       As spirituality and personal religious beliefs have proven to
be a popular topic on ALF, we would like to assure everyone that it is
ok to mention your religious beliefs here, whatever they might be, if
you believe they are important to your personal sense of furriness. 
      You  may not try to convert anyone, or to say that another
person's beliefs are wrong for anyone but yourself. The pay-off is
that you have a right to expect the same respect from them. It is a
delicate area, and we must all by aware of that, but it is a chance to
learn more about each other, and about other ways of being fury. 

Part 4:  What's so different about ALF?

        The opening question of this FAQ gives three definitions of
the word furry.  The first one:

1. an anthropomorphic animal character. i.e. an animal with human

is the focus of the other furry newsgroups, such as alt.fan.furry.
ALF's focus though is the second and third definitions.

2. a human who relates strongly, in whatever way, to the idea of the
    characters outlined in the previous definition....
3. a person with an important emotional/spiritual connection with an  
    animal or animals, real, fictional or symbolic.

Effectively  ALF is about the people who post to ALF.

        The other thing which makes ALF different is that the idea of
tolerance is enshrined in our charter, in the whole notion of this
newsgroup. In many ways ALF is a radical experiment. Some furries said
it couldn't work, or wasn't needed, but we think a furry forum where
_everyone's_ way of being furry is acceptable is very much needed. At
the time of writing, six months since ALF was newgrouped, it's obvious
the newsgroup is fulfilling a real need. Newcomers to ALF have posted
comments like these:

        "Being here, sharing what is at the core of my self (being 
         furry, etc.) seems as rare a pleasure as a drop of water in 
         the desert. "

        "I thank all of you who have an open mind"

        "I am really getting addicted to this place. I just want to  
         say  thanks , for the kindness, and for the this sense of  

        "Thank you neighbors.  To have a *group* of people openly 
         embrace  us is something many of us have dreamed of but never

         expected  to see. This truly, is a gift without price. <many,

         many, tears of joy and happiness"

        "I am sensing a love among furries that I did not think could 
          exist in an Internet "community". I have been hanging around
          the wrong newsgroups until now."

        "Until I came on the net and discovered that there were others

          who shared my feelings, I felt abnormal to the rest of the  
          world. Now it is the rest of the world that appears 
          abnormal, as I have found my true self, and have my hope for

          an inner peace rekindled.

          Again, my thanks to you, and the other wonderful furs of 
          ALF. You have saved the life of another fur that otherwise  
          would have been killed by RL, and helped to give him the  
          strength to go on, despite the world."

         "I know I rarely post here, But it seems I have little to 
          offer. Today tho, i want to just let you all know I am SO  
          glad your're here! My world can be so depressing (yers any  
          different?) It's such a great thing just to read the posts 
          and see you here. I think "YES! They're still other humans 
          (or whatever) like me! They're still ALIVE!" I could go on, 
          but you have so eloquently articulated everything I feel. 
          Like -This is HEALTHY - This is SPIRITUAL - This is where 
          our souls meet - This is HOME - I've read that all here."

         "Hello, everyfur!  I'm speechless... I wasn't under the 
          impression that I'd actually *FIND* a NG like this...   It 
          seems everyone here is (Amazingly enough) getting on well 
          with each other, and this NG seems like a great place to be 
          and interact with other furs... 

         "The discussions in this group have helped me to understand 
           furriness from several different viewpoints.  Had I not had

           this resource, I would have had to try to understand all of

           this on my own and alone.  I'm not sure it would have been 
           something that I was really up for.  Thanks to everyone!"

          "As another who put himself through denial until my 
           furriness just _would_not_be_denied_  any longer, I feel 
           the same way. ALF is a beautiful thing, and it has 
           already permanently changed many lives for the better."

          "I feel like a large weight has been lifted from my 
          shoulders. For weeks, I had read messages, and had
          agonized over the fact that I, too, wanted to
          be a part of the compassion and empathy for other furs that 
          I saw exclusive to ALF, and to extend my paw to those who 
          would take it in need."

         "Sweet Jesus, I am home..."

        The furries who use ALF come from lots of different parts of
the furry spectrum, and from many 'minority' groups within furrydom.
Here on ALF we'd like to think that there is a unity between us, and
that an attack or flame against any group within ALF is an attack on
the community itself, which will bring it together rather than send it
scattering into different camps.
         On behalf of everyone who worked to make this happen, welcome
to alt.lifestyle.furry.

Part 5:  Who wrote this FAQ?

Lupercal and Tirran 

with contributions and consultation from

? The Platypus 
Galen Foxwolfie 
Brad Austin 
Lynx Meerkat 
Karl Meyer  
RedFox WhiteRuff 
Dennis Mott 
Roci Stone 
Sara Moore 
... and by subscribers to the newsgroup.

- and Locandez wrote 2.10)

The opinions expressed in this FAQ should not be regarded as those of
any individual(s).

This FAQ is maintained by Lupercal

lupercal    .com
Please contact me for permission to repost. 

April 10th, 2000

The Place

 There is a place
   Where people come to be one
 With the essence of life swirling around them,
   And share that feeling of discovery with each other...

 I am in that place
   And I am with you in body and in spirit
 Let no man take it away,
   And let no man be denied its power.

 There is a place
   That is our heaven.
 And being with you there, my brother,
   That is the greatest joy I will ever know."

                                                   - Prismo
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