Now that we have the technical definition of out of the way, let's move on to the cultural definition. In our world at large, we have major Cultures, such as American, African and Japanese, just to name a few. Within all cultures, there exist sub-cultures. These have been defined as a cultural subgroup differentiated by factors that functionally unify the group and act collectively on each member. In the case of Furies, this is the fascination with animals.
This fascination can manifest itself in many different ways. From the artiest who enjoys drawing cartoon animals, to the "fur suter" who dons a costume that represents his fictional character, all the way to the totemist, who finds a spiritual connection with his or her chosen totem animal.
You will find many "types" of furs out there. This list represents the major groups.
If you go into a typical Furry's home, you are likely to find several things. Plush toys such as stuffed animals, anthro and non-anthro art work, collectables of cartoon characters, and pets, sometimes rather exotic ones.
It is estimated that world-wide there are more then 250,000 self proclaimed "furs." It is unknown how accurate this number is, however in the United States, the larges of the Furry Conventions, Anthrocon, which is held in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania once a year, draws nearly 3,000 furs from around the world, and it's attendance has steadally increased since it's inception.
Conventions are another way that Furs "get together". There are several major conventions held around the United States, including Anthrocon, Further Confusion, Mid West Fur Fest, Mephit Fur Meet and Ohio Morphicon. Conventions offer not only a chance for social gathering, but a place for artists to show off their art work, discussions, panels and debates as well as Mascot Costume and puppet performances.
However, with any rising "abnormality", attention is immediately drawn to the less savory side of things.
In recent years, Furs have become the focus of several major media outlets, including Vanity Fair Magazine and MTV's television show, Sex2K. These have focused on several of the smaller, more closely held and slightly looked down upon groups of furs. Those who sexualize the "fandom" as it's called. It should be noted that in any large group, there are going to be some who sexualize it. For example, while some shoe salesmen may be foot fetishists, not all shoe salesmen find feet sexually attractive. This applies to many other sub-cultures as well. While we, as a community, do acknowledge the existence of a sexual side to the fandom, we do not promote it. You will find erotic anthro art work, as well as furs with "kinks" such as BDSM, Infatalism and Plushophilia. One of the reasons that the fandom seems highly sexualized stems from our openness with each other. We do not hide from our fellow furs. We do keep our personal lives private, but we also do not take strides to be "normal". We are happy with who we are, and are proud to show it.