Life is a precious transient mysterious wonderful experience. Anything that is alive is living and any thing living will relatively soon die. Oddly, and so far as we currently know, the seemingly endless variety of physical forms which hold life within them are in a constant state of losing the life which inhabit them. There seems to be no way of returning life to a vessel which has lost it.
Each individual specimen of life is unique to the cosmos; once it is gone it can never be replaced. From tree to bacterium to non-human animal to human animal — the uniqueness and importance of each living being is not only awe-inspiring but mourn-filled in its passing away. The importance of each living thing has been determined by those other various living things which surround it. Trees in the forest which are taller and stronger than the grass under them block the sun’s rays from the forest floor inhibiting the growth of the grass. Humans which have larger brains inhibit the lives of smaller brained creatures with whom they share the world. Smaller forms of life do indeed persist even under these circumstances. Moss grows on the tree, bacterium grows within the animal body.
The almost random and self-centered dolling out of the “worth of life,” determination by one living entity, that it itself is more valuable than any another, is an arrogant concept developed by those living creatures who perhaps wish to inflate themselves above others in the hopes of making their lives seem more useful and precious than any other.
It is difficult for many to recognize that a worm is as valuable as a human child or that a crab is as precious as a human parent; but the difficulty in that recognition lay within the human child’s parent, not the worm and in the children of the human parent, not the crab. The life of the crab is important to the crab, the life of the worm to the worm. To say that a worm or bacterium has less value because it seems to be unaware of itself is a construct by creatures who think themselves to be self-aware and unaware that their own awareness is simply the way they are aware of their own sense of self.
To understand the chemical reactions within the biological being, is to understand the chemical reactions we are as yet unable to fully communicate and exchange or construct ideas with those life-forms which are non-human and so we apply our human ideas and concept to them. I’ve even applied human concepts to worms and crabs as read above. This leads to a hierarchy of which life has more important or significant value, but again these values are determined by the determiner and not the creature which has had these values placed upon it.
The Universe has had life generated within it or it has generated life. It has placed no structure of value upon any living thing. All things which are alive are living and because of this the playing field of The Universe is naturally equal for all things.
Of course the argument is made by many that since we, human animals, are of a higher intellect we should consider ourselves more necessary than those other “lesser” intelligent forms of life. A more biased opinion you would be hard-pressed to find.
As the self-proclaimed “highest intelligence” on the planet we cannot even combat the fear many humans-animals have over the outer skin-color of other human-animals. We are destructive of our environment, we war over words (itself a limiting form of idea-exchange), and we kill other living creatures to benefit ourselves without need and with a cruelty not found elsewhere in the animal kingdom. If we are truly more highly evolved than our other non-human family it seems in many cases that this evolved self-importance makes us the lesser creature in many regards.
The human animal is an animal. We are a product of this cosmos and we are no higher or lower on the spectrum of importance than any other living being. Everything that is living is alive and we should strive to understand how precious each and every living thing is to the whole of Everything.