From the fourteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries, two major changes took place in thinking about animals. On the one hand, theological anthropocentric thinking was abandoned step by step by scientific insights and man was dethroned. On the other hand, with the development of the theory of evolution at the end of this period, an important paradigm shift occured: the kinship of humans with other animals came to the foreground. From then on, the search for similarities became dominant. Atti-tudes of humans towards animals received increased attention and animal rights came into the picture.