Sep. 13th, 2012

houseofchimeras: (Pantairin - Self)
Date First Written : September 2012

Deer equates to prey. Or at least that is the idea of many have immediately upon the consideration of what deer are. Deer of any species are often a source of food for a number of other animals in the world either directly by hunting them or by scavenging. Other animals depend upon the existence of various deer species that live in the same habitat with them. In many areas, if deer disappeared many large predators would starve due to lack of other large animals to eat. Yet, there is something people often forget too easily. The fact that deer are not prey. At least, not without calcification of events. A deer becomes prey, rather than are always just prey.

Prey is only something that happens when one messes up or luck is not in your favor. Wild deer have their own lives and do not live to just be eaten. They live for their own kinds existence and to continue on with their species. Animals adapt and live together and against each other. No animal is better than the other and each lives to live in whichever way possible for them. A simple fact of nature is that any animal can become prey to another really given the right events. The nature and traits of a deer are for their own survival and deer did not evolve as they have because they are prey but rather they evolved as they have to avoid being prey. The wariness and sensitive nature of the deer is meant to keep them alive.

As a deer therianthrope, these are just some of the awkward instincts that come into my mind. I have found that there is an interesting conflict in being a deer, and that is what I can best describe as the mix of two powerful feelings - wariness and curiosity. The wariness of a deer is perhaps the most apparent to many people who have watched deer. The ready nature of a deer to move and react in some way or form in a moment, even if the reaction  may not be needed or be executed in a way that could have been done better. The curiosity of deer is to keep watchful eyes open and take note the around them. To inquire on what is going on around them and so to better react. Curiosity and wariness compliant each other for deer, but for a deer in human form the mix of two instincts can lead to awkward situations. Such as spooking from sudden movement or sounds often leading to awkward situations because I am a deer in a human body. Such wary instincts do not often work like they are supposed to for a deer in the mold of human society. The human species is a social predator and so the human species are not one to be as conditioned by the lives of those that came before them to be as wary of possible danger. Such is the nature of many predators and even more so is the nature of domestication into human society.

The deer that are seen on hunting and outdoor shirts and posters are not really how deer are. Just like many species of animals, deer are plagued with over romanticism of traits that human beings see as admirable while outright ignoring less ‘glamorous’ facts of life for deer.  My instincts and behaviors as a deer is not just about fleeing from possible danger or standing as majestically as possible. My instincts are filled with in instincts to graze on plant-life when I see healthy lush plants such as grass and clover, the instinct to kneel down to drink when I see bodies of water, to be with others of my kind, to use my awareness and remain alert to what my senses are bringing in, wanting to find a safe place to settle down and chew my cud, and many more little things. My nature as being a deer in a human body is more then just one small aspect of a deer’s overall life and behavior. All animals are complex living organisms with a wide verity of behaviors.

As a deer therian in the therianthropy community I am tried of being called food. When I speak that I am a deer therian, what I can sometimes receive back are comments about that deer are tasty or being given teasing jokes of promising not to hunt me. I might be a deer in a human body but I am still human and if you seriously consider me food then I implore you to seek psychiatric help. And for that matter if I were physically a deer and the other their own species, a healthy deer can often outrun a number of other animals out to hunt them and even when cornered they can easily be killed by a good kick or stomp. If I bring up not liking being called prey and bring up that deer are not prey I have been waved off as not being able to take a joke. I hardly find calling someone their food a joke. 

Perhaps I am not surprised that how few non-carnivore theriotype therians don’t stick around long at all. Sometimes I think, if you do not know why, simply look at what comes out of some people’s mouths sometimes. Teasing and playful jokes thought to be innocent and made in fun are often not such by the person the receiving end. Perhaps to the gray wolf therians that I meet I should exclaim how I love watching wolves being hunted by airplane or being killed for someone’s exotic stake; or to the dog therians speak of how some countries eat dog and my interest in trying it one day. Those statements might be lies coming from me and I am sicken to any such thoughts, but such statements are allowed to be said to deer therians by others.

Some might exclaim that deer are often hunted unlike some other animals, yet remember - any animal can become prey to another animal if the opportunity arises to another. Wolves have been seen hunting down foxes and wolves will kill and eat other wolves if the opportunity arises. Carnivores may eat plant material if given the right place and need, even if it is not dire and likewise; and even herbivores have been known to eat meat-material as well. And regardless of this, how socially awkward do you think to feels herbivore therians to be called food to other therians? Treated like a piece of meat literally? Truly t is tiresome and straining. I’ve been asked if being around carnivore therians makes me feel uncomfortable. Thinking about it, I sometimes have to say yes but not because of what they are but what they constantly say and mention to me personally. A real life deer does not always flee in terror at the sight of another animal.

I am a deer in a human body. I do not “prey” in a human body. I see myself as a deer; not as a product of what others may take me for. The body, instinct, and nature of the various species of deer is where my identity resides.

Further driving a wedge between my identity and another therian’s is the difference in nature between a number of herbivores and a number of carnivores. A lot of people don’t seem to get therians over all, but even within therianthropy the subgroups can’t seem to fully get the others. How can a number of land-based therians ever fully sympathize with any number of water-dwelling therian nor sky-flying therians. Herbivore not fully understanding carnivore, extinct therians to extant ones. Some experiences can be similar but others are as alien as ever to the other. I can’t image the instincts that drive some therians to want to hunt and chase let alone eat raw flesh of another; but in the same token, I doubt few therians could imagine my instincts for complete awareness of my surroundings and alertness nor my strong desire to graze.

Neither are wrong nor lesser. Just different. We are all different, and we are all therians as the word therian include all animals large and small. Therians come in many different theriotypes, and deer therians are part that. Deer therians are a part of the community as much as any kind of theriotypes. We should all be respected.

- Pantairin

July 2014

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