Werewolves versus Shifters who wins your vote? I've often thought about this and I've come to the conclusion, I think it's an even draw. Just what is the difference you ask, well let's break it down.
Werewolves have been a creature feature in folk lore since well the birth of superstition, I believe. Way back in 550 BC, (get your togas out for this one), the story goes that King Lycon of Arcadia served human flesh to the Greek God, Zeus. Zeus, I'm guessing was not big on the new cuisine because he cursed King Lycon by turning him into a wolf, which sparked the term "lycanthrope". In 60 AD Roman poet, Petronius, (Harry Potter fans will see the similarity here) wrote his poem Satyricon about a solider who turns into a werewolf. From then on there have been stories of men who turned into a wolf-like beast during a full moon cycle. In 1598, a Frenchman by the name of Jacques Roulet was arrested for being a werewolf. In 1623 there were 18 women and men condemned and imprisoned for suffering from lycanthropy. So from its humble beginnings in Greek mythology, Werewolves have been found all over Europe and some how made their way to American shores. So just what is a werewolf? Well if we look at all the stories and lore, a man or woman infected by a single bite from a lycanthrope or whom s cursed with lycanthropy, turns into a monstrous wolf creature by the light of a full moon that is blood thirsty. Up until the past decade or so, thanks in part to paranormal romance authors an Hollywood, Werewolves have become less of a monster and more of a tortured romantic soul.
Shifters on the other hand have a better reputation. Shifters may have gotten their start in Native American lore as men who had the ability to shift from their human state to that of their "spirit" animal. Shifters can be any animal such as a bird of prey to that of man's best friend. Thanks to books and television shows such as True Blood, Kressley Cole's Immortals After Dark, Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters series, and The Twilight Saga by Stefanie Meyer Shifters seem to have a better turn than their predecessors the Werewolves. Since Shifters are neither cursed or sufferers of lycanthropy, they are mostly seen as "good" or "protectors". Still who wins the debate?
One of the negative sides to either story has led to persecution of not just human beings such as the 18 men and women in France who were imprisoned or put to death for fear but wolves in general, were killed because of stigmas that wolves were evil and blood thirsty animals. Even today, many species f wolves are on the endangered species list hunted for their pelts as well as for merely being wolves. The loss of there natural habitats are real threats facing many wolf species and that has to stop. Wolves are only threats when their pack, their dens, and their territories are threatened by humans. Many animal conservation groups and animal activists are fighting for wolves as they should. We should ALL be fighting to protect our wildlife species including wolves.
So have you taken a side yet? Are you a Werewolf fan or a Shifter fan? For me, I like both my wild men and women. I love the horror side of the werewolf but then I have come to love the softer side too. I also adore Shifters. Who wouldn't love to be able to form the picture of an animal or connect with their own "animal spirit" and roam free or soar through the sky? So whether you be a Werewolf fan or Shifter fan, it's totally up to you but the best way to discover these two are to pick up some good books where both these types are featured.