Were is the general term to describe both fans of were-animals and therians. Were-fandom overlaps both furry and transformation fandoms, combining aspects of both; people who call themselves weres may also be fans of these other genres. Unlike furries, were-animals are generally more bestial and less intelligent, usually controlled more by animal instinct and impulses rather than intellect, often to violent results.
In the days of Usenet, weres originally gathered in alt.horror.werewolves (circa early to late 1990s) to discuss their interest in werewolves and other shape-shifting or humanoid animals from horror and mythology. As time passed, three groups separated:
- Fans of horror werewolves and other were-animals
- People who liked roleplaying werewolves and were-animals
- People who felt a personal, spiritual connection with werewolves or were-animals.
Eventually, much like furry fandom, the group who felt they were, in some ways, a were-animal became their own group. But, unlike furry fandom, they have become a very socially dominant group, and therianthropy a surprisingly accepted idea even amongst the fans who are only roleplayers or more casually interested.
Weres are generally interested in less anthropomorphic styled art, preferring semi-human animals; much of were art is either based on wildlife painting styles, or roleplaying game styles. Were-art has become a term and style in and of itself in the furry fandom, and were artists are a large reason for the current popularity of digitigrade forms and the decrease in the popularity of toons. They enjoy the company of like-minded weres and sometimes meet at howls to commune with nature.
Though originally a horror sub-fandom, not all weres are horror fans. Some prefer to see werewolves (and other were-animals) as more natural creatures, which aren't inherently violent or horrific, so that any violent actions they take are a return to a wild state of being. Were-fandom has a significant environmentalist streak because of this.