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When a person does not identify AS a non-human animal but instead has a strong "connection with" or feels a "relation with" an animal. "I identify WITH wolves." does not have the same meaning as "I identify AS a wolf." Being a Therian is more than "really liking" an animal. Liking a creature a lot does not equal an identity as that creature.

To use the term correctly, a person who feels close to deer would say, "I am deer-hearted."

There is a thread on AHWW from January 15, 1997 in which someone who claimed to "ABSOULUTLY ADORE WEREWOLVES AND WOLVES" asked if they were "wolfhearted". [1] The exact terms other-hearted and animal-hearted seem to have come into more common use around 2014 or 2015.

The equivalent term in the Otherkin community is other-hearted.

References

  1. https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!searchin/alt.horror.werewolves/wolfhearted%7Csort:relevance/alt.horror.werewolves/4QHBcdK28Vw/SN0jQJMNs9oJ

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