There’s a common frustration among those who love mustelids which often prompts the question “Why do most mustelids in media look nothing like mustelids?” Or “My ferrets are sweet, why are they often portrayed so negatively?” Unfortunately for most mustelids, people have a tendency to believe myths, popular depictions and idioms without questioning their legitimacy.
Some mustelids are considered vermin, and are usually only valued for their fur; or in some cases hunting skills. By definition, ‘vermin’ are animals deemed to be destructive to crops, farm animals, game; or that carry disease. By this logic wolves, deer, eagles, bears, hawks, owls; and even some dogs, cats and humans would fall into that description. All of these animals have one thing in common that mustelids are unlikely to be credited for: Beauty. Many fans of mustelids are aware of this bias and agree their disposition, as well as anatomy are often portrayed inaccurately in media; yet few are willing to bring attention to these issues. This is essentially why Genuine Mustelids was created.
We are a small team of mustelid enthusiasts from across the globe, who seek to promote a more accurate representation for both art and education. All team members are volunteers and work to provide content for this website when able. As a nonprofit organization, we exist for the purpose of commentary, reviews and education. We at Genuine Mustelids are not an authority or animal rights organization, and will never attempt to force our views or persecute anyone to portray or treat mustelids as we see fit. Outside our personal goals, we exist publicly only as a guide for those who wish to learn what is being less commonly taught.
How we Help
Having a website that describes species of mustelids is one thing, but how does a list of games, literature, animated characters and anatomy tutorials help mustelids in the real world? Such content is merely fiction and doesn’t represent reality, right? Fictional media shouldn’t reflect on mustelids in the real world, but it often does. People tend to form opinions about elusive animals like weasels, martens, and other mustelids at an early age based on what they’ve learned from cartoons, games, and other media, and these early beliefs tend to stick with people through adulthood; regardless of accuracy.
While there are great conservation organizations that both help educate people about mustelids and protect their habitats, few of them take advantage of media to help inspire more people care about the existence of these misunderstood animals. We the average people have the most influence when it comes to improving the reputation of mustelids; because after all, it was average people who gave them the reputation they have. How mustelids are viewed in society is important if conservationists want more of the general public to value the information they put out. There are many people you cannot inspire or teach through educational books alone.
There are generally three types of mustelid enthusiasts: Those who simply like the look of mustelids and enjoy seeing them in visual media, those who take things a step further by representing them in art or conducting their own amateur research; and lastly professional conservationists who aim to study and protect mustelids. For some people, their interest stem from a born passion for wildlife; for many others, it all started with a favorite childhood or young adulthood character. Memorable characters such as Taggerung the otter, Kine the least weasel, and Bill the badger are among a few that have inspired people to learn more about these amazing creatures.
It is also not unusual for people who admire a certain mustelid species in media to not know much about the real animal, or to even know their beloved species is endangered. For this reason we believe combining both educational and fictional media to be a good way in helping people become more interested in mustelids; perhaps even inspiring a few to become future conservationists. Think of us at Genuine Mustelids as being in the middle – between conservationists, and those just needing a little inspiration to better represent a unique family of animals.
Our Content Policy
In order to maintain our identity of Genuine Mustelids and differ ourselves from Wikipedia, it is not in our interest to mention every mustelid character that has appeared in media. To the best of our knowledge, we only present content from productions that have depicted them reasonably well in games and animation. In regards to literary fiction, we only mention published content that has a mustelid as the protagonist, antagonist or deuteragonist; to make your potential read of these creative works worthwhile.
Regarding our Species of Mustelids Pages
One of our more difficult tasks is finding correct, up-to-date information about rare mustelids. Since we are not zoologists and do not have the liberty to personally study these creatures, most information we use comes from other reliable sources. Even then this information is subject to change, as zoologists and conservationists discover more about these animals. What was true about a certain species as little as five years ago, may or may not be the case today. Due to the complexity of the family Mustelidae, there’s also a lot of general misinformation out there. Combining information from multiple sources (especially those which are native and frequently updated), and finding similarities in their results is how we go about being as accurate as possible. Thankfully, we have team members from all over the world.
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