Why Are Animals Important?

Eli Duke/CC-BY-SA 2.0

Animals are important for many reasons, including the assistance they give to plant ecosystems, the psychological and emotional support they can offer to humans, and the knowledge gained from the human study of them. Some of the most important animals include primates, bats and bees.

One of the most important functions of animals is to help disperse seeds and pollinate plants. This provides vital support to a variety of fruit and vegetable crops, many of which would not survive without the help of animals. Primates, for example, help to disperse seeds through the fruits they eat. Bats also help spread seeds and pollinate a variety of plants. Bees are the most important animal to plant ecosystems. Many crops rely almost entirely on bees to spread and pollinate, including almonds, avocados, apricots and peaches. Without bees, the planet would face the prospect of mass starvation.

On an individual level, domesticated pets offer numerous emotional benefits to humans. Pets can offer the same type of social support that strong friendships do. A study published in Psychology Today found that pet owners have higher self-esteem and are more physically fit and more outgoing than those who don’t have pets. Animal research also offers humans crucial insights into both themselves and the world around them. Primate research, for example, has given scientists significant knowledge about evolution, human origins and genetic coding.