Retail giant Walmart has caused confusion by appearing to encourage the bizarre ‘Furry’ subculture.

A twitter user called BlondeFoxy (a furry) tweeted a picture of themselves wearing a ‘Walmart head’ as a part of their “fursuit”.

These Walmart heads are so cute and super affordable. I’m going to modify this one to kinda show some of my younger followers the potential these things really have ❤️ #furryfandom #fursuit pic.twitter.com/Ul9hx6PAE5

— Lucky Coyote🌵 (@BlondeFoxy) October 18, 2018

Walmart responded, saying: “mentoring fursuiters for the next generation? Nicely done, Lucky.”

Mentoring fursuiters for the next generation? Nicely done, Lucky.

— Walmart (@Walmart) October 18, 2018

Many reacted with mock horror at the weird juxtaposition of a glorified supermarket interacting with a human pretending to be an animal:

pic.twitter.com/3ajEtf0vjm

— Shit Boi (@Liam_Giblin) October 18, 2018

pic.twitter.com/z7T0GnvPGm

— 🎃jessica. (@JessicaonRS) October 18, 2018

Furries, for the uninitiated, are an internet subculture fandom who anthropomorphize animals. Furries dress up, wearing full-sized ‘Fursuits’ to fit their ‘Fursonas’, and meet up at conventions.

Yes, this is a real thing.

There is, of course, a sexual element to the Furry scene and it is regarded by many to be a fetish. There are even linguistic terms used solely to describe sexual activities for Furries, such as “yiffing” (the sound foxes make during sex, obviously).

Furries on the internet are generally overly sexual. Frosted Flakes, a cereal by the brand Kellogg’s, once had to ask twitter Furries to keep it PG as too many of them were sexualizing Frosties’ mascot Tony the Tiger and sending them anthropomorphic animal porn. Kellogg’s then resorted to mass blocking furries.

@realtonytiger fist me tony i love you

— Count Bota 🦇 (@yordlefucker) March 14, 2015

I’m all for showing your stripes, feathers, etc. But let’s keep things gr-r-reat – & family-friendly if you could. Cubs could be watching 🙂

— Frosted Flakes (@frosted_flakes) January 28, 2016

Therefore this raises the question; why is Walmart, a family owned company, engaging with a subculture infamously known for sexualizing animals? Seemingly it wasn’t an error on their part either, going so far as to use the term ‘Fursuiters’ which could easily be seen as an act of endorsement to this internet community.

In the age of social media we have seen numerous corporations jump on the bandwagon of self-aware internet posting to engage with consumers – the best example being Wendy’s oft-sarcastic twitter timeline – but where does the line get drawn? With Walmart’s official twitter account having over 942K followers and a family-friendly brand, it’s strange that they would choose to interact with a fandom known for making animals sexual.

Maybe stick to selling TV’s next time, Walmart.

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