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Rise of the Therians: People who identify as animals claim they ‘shift’ into feral impulses, prefer to walk on all fours and show off their lives on TikTok wearing masks and tails


Groups of TikTokers self-titled as ‘therians’ are hosting meet-ups across the UK for those who identify as animals. 

The term therian refers to people who identify as non-human animals on a deep level and engage in behaviours associated with their animal identity. 

They differ from furries, who see their animal persona as a character, while therians innately feel animal characteristics.

Teenagers have been filming themselves coming home from school and finding relief at being able to express their ‘real’ animal persona again, while others have posted guides to ‘coming out’ to parents. 

Some therians even claim they experience ‘shift’ impulses to behave like their animal selves, where they temporarily get taken over by their instincts, and post videos of themselves on all fours or connecting with nature. 

One therian on TikTok posted a video of themselves 'shifting' as they claimed to behave like their 'animal self'

One therian on TikTok posted a video of themselves ‘shifting’ as they claimed to behave like their ‘animal self’

One TikTok account, called @.fern_.the.therian, shows a group of therians running through fields of grass and throwing their masks and tails in the air. 

Another, based in Reading in the UK, posted a video of themselves leaping onto a chair, while wearing a fluffy tail and animal mask. 

They said: ‘I caught a shift! It’s my first time since my therian awakening two to three years ago, and even this one was tiny! 

‘This was the animalistic behaviours I was experiencing, I knew where I was and that I was filming but I couldn’t control it much. Shift incoming!’

Therians have been hosting meet-ups throughout the UK, where they can meet like-minded souls, advertising where they live on TikTok. 

The groups have even put their own spin on ‘day in the life’ videos, showing them collecting rainwater overnight, reading books about nature and watering plants – all while wearing an animal mask. 

Some TikTok users express their identities by adopting a cat mask or wolf mask, depending on which animal they feel an affinity with. 

But there are also ‘polytherians’ who identify as multiple species, while ‘paleotherians’ even identify as extinct animals. 

Therians usually wear a mask of the animal they identify with and a tail, and feel they are especially attuned to nature

Therians usually wear a mask of the animal they identify with and a tail, and feel they are especially attuned to nature

They adopt animal-like movements, including leaping through the air

Some have shown off their different gaits, including walks, trots and canters

They adopt animal-like movements, including leaping through the air and showing off their walk, trots and canters

Therians have been hosting meet-ups throughout the UK after finding each other and posting adverts on TikTok

Therians have been hosting meet-ups throughout the UK after finding each other and posting adverts on TikTok

Schools have seen a rise of children identifying as therians

Children have been identifying as therians among their classmates

Schools have seen a rise of children identifying as ‘therians’, as they identify as animals among their classmates

The therian community insist they are different from furries, as they identify as the animal, rather than seeing it as a character

The therian community insist they are different from furries, as they identify as the animal, rather than seeing it as a character

TikTok commenters seemed divided between identifying with the therians or found the concept strange

TikTok commenters seemed divided between identifying with the therians or found the concept strange

Therians are a subculture of Otherkins, who identify as partially or entirely human. 

They say they feel especially attuned to nature, while others identify using the term ‘transspecies’. 

Commenting on one video of a therian meet-up, one social media user couldn’t help exclaiming: ‘I WANT THERIAN FRIENDS SO BAD!’ while another admitted: ‘This is how I feel I just don’t know how to tell anyone’. 

But others said they needed ‘therapy’ and noted ‘This isn’t normal.’

One commented: ‘Maybe in another universe humans wouldn’t think they’re animals,’ while another said: ‘What has our generation come to oh my god.’ 

In June last year, Britain’s toughest headteacher Katharaine Birbalsingh warned that children identifying as cats were wearing ‘tails and ears’ in class. 

She cautioned that adult authority over pupils was ‘long gone’ as more and more children were allowed to identify as animals at school. 

She said: ‘Do you know that some kids identify as ‘furries’? 

Therians on TikTok have revealed their parents' reactions to being told about their true identity

One user even created a 'coming out' guide

Therians on TikTok have revealed their parents’ reactions to being told about their true identity

One therian was even amazed at finding animal masks in Poundland, to help adopt the animal identity

One therian was even amazed at finding animal masks in Poundland, to help adopt the animal identity

Britain's toughest headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh claimed in June there were more cases of children identifying as animals in schools

Britain’s toughest headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh claimed in June there were more cases of children identifying as animals in schools 

‘Elon Musk is correct – you all have no idea just how bad things are in schools and you ignore the vital and crucial roles schools play in shaping our society’s culture.

‘There are kids right now, in some schools, with tails and ears pinned to their heads and bottoms.

‘This isn’t fancy dress, they identify as cats, you see. Kids aren’t allowed to wear trainers to school but they are allowed to wear ears and tails because that’s their chosen identity.

‘That’s how they feel they belong. Adult authority is long gone.’

Meanwhile others have been allowed to identify as cats, horses and dinosaurs, with teachers ‘failing to question them’. 

That month, a 13-year-old girl was also branded ‘despicable’ by her teacher for rejecting her classmate’s claim that she identified as a cat. 

At a state secondary school in Wales, one student was said to ‘meow’ when asked questions by a teacher, rather than answering in English, the Telegraph reported.

In other schools, one apparently insisted on being addressed as a dinosaur, one claimed to identify as a horse while another was said to wear a cape and demanded to be acknowledged as a moon.



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