How should the relation between animal and man be thought of?  

How should the relation between animal and man be thought of? The theory of man’s ascent from apes may be considered as obsolete, for it is based upon a false train of thought. Think of a morally degenerate and of a highly ethical man. The assertion that man is descended from apes is like saying that the perfect man descends from the imperfect one. They need not descend from one another at all, but they may have a common father and be brothers! The one developed upwards, the other became decadent. Also the relation between ape and man may be viewed in this light. On Atlantis, the human form was still ape-like. During the Lemurian age the sole possession of a body which was even less perfect. This body then took an upward course of development. But the ape-like forms have partly degenerated and have become the apes of to-day. The apes are therefore the degenerated bodily brothers of man.

In the Atlantean age the human race branched out; the one main stem to an ascending development and became the human being of to-day, whereas the other descended and became the ape of to-day. All animals which live among us are consequently human beings who were expelled and condemned to degeneration. The ascent of certain beings is only possible through the fact that others sacrifice themselves. The higher expels the lower, in order to rise still higher; later on there will be a compensation for those who were expelled.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – POPULAR OCCULTISM – IX. Lemurian Development – Leipzig, 7 July 1906

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Orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakasi, lies in the arms of her caregiver, Andre Bauma, shortly before her death in September at a gorilla orphanage at Virunga – Africa’s oldest national park – in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr Bauma rescued Ndakasi as a two-month-old in 2007 after poachers killed her parents. With no relatives, rangers decided it was too unsafe to let Ndakasi back out into the wild, and so raised her at the gorilla orphanage.