I'm making a story where the main character travels the world. The world is made up of anthropomorphic animals. The animals would still have the urges of animals, But they become more sapient.

Dogs will still have the urge to fetch, howl, and would have their dominance status (having an alpha, beta, omega etc.) They will also be able to go to school, have a religion, and make stuff.

I wouldn't put how the animals are originated, because I would put mixed breeds everywhere. Because if you look at humans in real life, you're never gonna find a purebred human of something. So plus transportation is still gonna be there.

Is there a way to interpret human cultures into the anthropomorphic animals? Such as, Clothes, Beliefs, etc.

If so how? Is there any research do I need to do for the cultures?

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    $\begingroup$ Rather than research human cultures, I would suggest you read some of the authors who often use animals as pov characters. Erin Hunter does a good job with cats in her Warrior Cats series and my favorite dog in fiction has to be Einstein from Dean Koontz's Fear Nothing. $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2020 at 0:25
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    $\begingroup$ Not appropriate for an Answer, I think, but I've written several stories about anthropomorphic animals. They share some aspects of human culture, but I think they very much remain their own animals: They Must Even Feed the Wolves and The Raven, or the Rest of the Story $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Jan 26, 2020 at 1:05
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome! Can you provide more info about the degree of "animal" vs "human" your characters are or how they evolved to be that way in the first place? This question is hard to answer without specific context. Plus, what's the technology level, and how advanced is society? Compare stereotypical "cave man" behavior to modern human behavior and extrapolate that broad range of behaviors to animals. Unless you want to get specific about evolution and society, the best answer might be "whatever fits your plot." $\endgroup$
    – Zxyrra
    Jan 26, 2020 at 1:39
  • $\begingroup$ The graphic novel “Maus” about WWII would make excellent research material, I think. It takes every culture involved in the conflict and portrays them as a different species in an ecology. $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Jan 26, 2020 at 4:45
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    $\begingroup$ "would have there dominance status (having an alfa, beta, omega ect.)" if you want to keep it grounded in reality, then this detail is completely wrong. First of all, it was wolves, rather than dogs. I'm not aware of research in dog/wolf behaviour that suggests they have the exact same social structures. Secondly, even the alpha and omega thing is wrong. That is not how wolves' social structures even work. The person who put forward the idea of alphas, betas and omegas has since retracted that and has been fighting its spread ever since. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Jan 26, 2020 at 9:08

2 Answers 2


Interpret animal properties into your own invented human cultures.

The problem with taking a country (e.g. France) and populating it with animals (e.g. frogs, poodles) that you then give the characteristics of the French is that you have to know something about the French, and you might offend them if they don't like how you characterize them.

My suggestions 1: Take animals that you know. 2. Then take their stereotypical characteristics. It being Chinese New Year, you could do worse than to borrow from the Chinese zodiac for stereotypical animal characteristics. It is the Year of the Rat. Rat characteristics:

Though people consider the rat not adorable, and it even makes its way into derogatory languages, it ranks first on the Chinese zodiac signs. It has characteristics of an animal with spirit, wit, alertness, delicacy, flexibility and vitality.


Then make your nation of rats one that embodies these characteristics. There are 11 other animals in the Chinese zodiac and you can find lots more written about how they are supposed to be. You will offend no-one and you do not need to know anything about other cultures (although you could still research some if the spirit moved you).

Frogs and poodles could still be a fallback plan.


I'd start with researching the animal-looking gods and what are their traits. Secondly, I'd search for animals that are symbols of certain cultures, or are somehow assigned to those cultures. Maybe just go back a thousand years and check what animals are native to what region, housing what culture. Usually people want to find the characteristics they admire in their gods so the gods of a culture should actually resemble an idealistic figure born of the culture.

I'd avoid connections like German Shepherd - Germans. That's not really based on anything other than the name.


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