Proposition: All life is intended to move on a path towards greater knowledge of God. This is the purpose of existence.
The nearer a creature is to God, the more being and awareness of being it has.
So a mouse is superior to a mosquito and a man is superior to a mouse.
What is true for species or groups is also true, if to a lesser degree, for individuals, any one of whom will have greater or lesser fullness of being depending on his or her proximity or openness to God.
Thus, in terms of created beings and expressed reality, there is no such thing as equality.
And yet the same divine potential exists within all.
So Creation can be envisaged as a ladder on which all beings stand at different rungs, higher or lower, and yet it is the same ladder. In order to understand human beings and all forms of life both these factors must be taken into account.
Conclusion: Equality and hierarchy both exist just as oneness and differentiation do but each has its own sphere and neither should be extended to intrude into the sphere of the other. If that happens harmony is broken and truth dismembered. Real equality only exists in terms of being. Immediately you are in the created world there is a hierarchy of consciousness. Alternatively put, human beings consist of spirit, soul and body, all three together. As spirit we are equal but as souls there is greater and lesser, and this continues for as long as there are souls.