The Great Chain of Being was a synthesis that held together for us one coherent world. It was a “cosmic egg” of meaning, a vision of a Creator and a multitude of creatures that excluded nothing (See Colossians 1:15-20) from holiness and goodness.
As the medieval Christians predicted, once the chain was broken, and one link not honored, the whole vision collapsed. Either we acknowledge that God is in all things or we have lost the basis for seeing God in anything. When we could not honor God in the earth, waters, plants, and animals, we soon could not see or honor the divine image in ourselves or in other humans.
Richard Rohr, Adapted from Hope Against Darkness (p. 136)