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frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: For this article, comparison between therianthropes and transgender people. The horror novel in question has scenes of very graphic violence.

August: Prolific writer Adam Pfeffer self-published a book titled The Incredible Tiger-Man. It’s a horror novel about a cursed man who physically shape-shifts into a tiger and kills people. In the introduction, Pfeffer compares the fictional hero's situation to some of the beliefs in the non-fictional world about animal shape-shifters. In this, Pfeffer mentioned real people who identify as therianthropes:

“Some say a person identifying with an animal is somewhat similar to gender dysphoria and transsexuality, and is known as species dysphoria and transspeciesism. The species of non-human animal with which a therian identifies with is called that person’s theriotype or phenotype” (Pfeffer, p. ix)

Pfeffer is familiar with the real therianthrope community’s jargon, and uses it correctly. If Pfeffer was involved in the therian community, he doesn’t mention it here. This is the only mention of therianthropes or any of those terms in Pfeffer’s book.


Adam Pfeffer, The Incredible Tiger-Man. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2013.
The selection in question is visible in Google Books:
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: None.

August: A therianthrope named Akhila wrote a new essay, "Neofelis Nebulosa," on what clouded leopard feels like.


Akhila, "Neofelis Nebulosa." 2013-08. Thébaïde (personal web-site). http://akhila.feralscribes.org/2013/neofelis-nebulosa/

I linked to this with Akhila's permission.
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings: For this article, none. For the linked site: Body dysmorphia, and essay about recovering from an eating disorder (anorexia).

August: Khamaseen revived their personal web-site, Feral Limbo. The web-site contains their essays about their personal draconity and chimerical therianthropy. This includes "Body being: my experience of phantom limbs," and an essay each about their experiences of being marbled cat, giraffe, and horned owl. Khamaseen plans to further improve the site.


Khamaseen, Feral Limbo. http://www.ferallimbo.com/
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: None.

Last May, George Monbiot's book Feral was published. An extract of the book was published in The Guardian, a British newspaper. The extract is about sightings of non-native big cats in Britain.1 Cryptozoologists (people who study sightings of questionably real animals, where we need more proof that these animals are real) call these sightings "mystery big cats" or "alien big cats." Monbiot wrote about the lack of proof for the mystery big cats:

"Of the photographs and fragments of footage I have seen, around half are evidently domestic cats. Roughly a quarter are cardboard cut-outs, cuddly toys, the result of crude Photoshopping or – as the surrounding vegetation reveals – pictures taken in the tropics. The remainder are so distant and indistinct that they could be anything: dogs, deer, foxes, bin liners, yetis on all fours. [...] That is about the extent of it: no photos, no captures, no dung, no corpses [...] not even a verifiable footprint. The Beasts of Britain have evaded police helicopters and armed response teams (it beats logging car crime), a five-week hunt by the Royal Marines, a succession of big cat experts and bounty hunters and the mass deployment of tracking, attracting and sensing technologies."2

There have been many sightings of mystery big cats, and many attempts to collect proof of them, but no proof has yet been found. Monbiot asks whether these sightings might represent some sort of wishful thinking. Doubtful News, a news blog that takes a skeptical look at supposedly paranormal current events, spoke approvingly of the book.3

The subject of mystery big cats is relevant to this blog. Around 2002, a big cat therianthrope named Barakus Leviathan expressed a belief that the mystery big cats might be therianthropes who can physically shape-shift into animal form.4 I have heard similar views expressed by therianthropes who have faith that physical shape-shifting might be possible.


1. George Monbiot, "Big-cat sightings: Is Britain suffering from mass hysteria?" 2013-05-21. The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/21/big-cat-sightings-mass-hysteria

2. Ibid.

3. Sharon Hill (idoubtit), "British big cats: Where's the evidence?" 2013-05-22. Doubtful News. http://doubtfulnews.com/2013/05/british-big-cats-wheres-the-evidence/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=british-big-cats-wheres-the-evidence

4. Barakus Leviathan, “A.B.C.: Alien Big Cats.” Circa 2002. The Draconcat. http://barakusdraconcat.tripod.com/id4.htm
frameacloud: A stylized green dragon person reading a book. (Stylized green dragon person)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Content warnings for this article: blood.

Last February in Ljubljana, Slovenia, a performance artist named Marion Laval-Jeantet of the Art Orienté Objet collective recently did a piece called Que le cheval vive en moi! (Fr. May the Horse Live in Me!) in which she explored a method by which she may transform herself into a centaur or horse.1 She spent time with a live horse. Then, in a Swiss laboratory, she had herself carefully injected with small doses horse blood, specificially “the plasma and a large part of the immunoglobulins,” safely isolated according to advice from the Pasteur Institute.2 Then she walked in digitigrade hoof stilts,3 which resemble the leg extensions designed by Kim Graham a few years ago.4 (I don’t know if they are or not. I haven’t seen anything that tells.) Laval-Jeantet described how the transformation made her feel:

“So, after I tested my body with the neuroendocrine immunoglobulins it was practically impossible for me to sleep for a week and I had extreme and slightly aggressive reactions to stimuli; a slammed door, a tap on the shoulder. As such, I was experiencing the hyper-reactivity of the horse in my flesh. The main aim of the performance to come is to take in a large number of immunoglobulins all together, so that I can feel another way of living rather than just the human. If one goes back to the terminology of the posthuman, to be human outside of the human is, perhaps, to undergo this type of experience, where a man that becomes a human/animal hybrid is finally extra-human. … Perhaps its symbolic and empiric force will enable my (our?) consciousness to open up to an Other sufficiently "other" - to no longer be purely anthropocentric.”5

Laval-Jeantet says that her original plan for this project was to have herself injected with panda blood, so that an endangered animal would be able to live on within her even if the actual pandas went extinct. However, even after several years, she couldn’t find anyone willing to do this for her, so she settled for horse instead.6 Much of Laval-Jeantet’s artwork explores ways to transgress the boundaries between humans and animals, and some of her works were performed primarily for an animal audience, to see how the animals react.

Laval-Jeantet performed a similar piece in 2007, Félinanthropie, in which she wore an innovative cat costume, crouched on all fours, and spent time with a house-cat. Her cat costume included digitigrade leg extensions, an articulated tail, and no other costume elements (no mask). She wanted to not only explore the perceptions of a cat, but also to alter the perceptions of an actual cat as it relearned how to interact with her. She wrote of this piece,

“That’s when the idea occurred to me to become digitigrade. A kind of fantasy where I would be able to jump onto the table in a single leap with paws that were too long... I drew the ‘cat shoes,’ which a prosthetist then made. As soon as I put them on and got used to this strange way of walking, the cats came up to me, sniffed and jumped on me, playing with me in the same way as they played between themselves. The artistic object worked, it had moved my role in the feline, domestic hierarchy.”7

However, I notice that since Laval-Jeantet wears no extensions on her forelegs, her costume increases the difference in length between her arms and legs, making it more difficult to walk on all fours.

Laval-Jeantet has written an article titled “Self-animalité (Self-animality)” about the philosophy behind the transformations in her art, such as posthumanism and shamanism. She describes several of her other pieces, and offers anecdotes about the stories of Mazzeras (shamans who channel the spirits of dead animals to rescue them) who she heard about from her Corsican grandmother. Her article includes photos of some of her pieces, including the cat costume and a close-up on the horse leg extensions. Read it in French or in English.

Sources )

May 2017

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