Importance of Plants & Animals in Human Life

By Kandra Sperling; Updated April 24, 2017
cows in field

Plants and animal species are important to the ecological balance on which all life forms, including humans, depend. Plants and animals are important food, pharmaceutical and chemical resources. Such vital resources should not be taken for granted and must be protected.


koala eating plant

Plants are at the base of the food chain. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants produce food. When humans consume plants or animals that eat plants, they get energy that fuels life.

Living Pharmaceutical Resources

medical plants

Life-saving medicines are derived from plants, animals and other living organisms. "More than a third of our pharmaceuticals originated with wild plants," states the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

Living Foodbanks

fish dinner

The more than one million plant and animal species, including 4,000 fish species, associated with coral reefs provide food for subsistence fishermen in many communities throughout the world.

Development of New Crops

wild mushroom

Scientists continue to develop new food crops from wild plants which can prove beneficial to sustaining human life if domestic crop supplies are depleted or wiped out by disease, according to the EDF.

Importance of Trees

forest of trees

There are about 100,000 known tree species throughout the world. Trees are crucial to human life because they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, prevent erosion, provide building materials and serve as windbreaks.


building construction

"As forests, wetlands, prairies, coastal estuaries and other habitats are converted to residential, commercial or agricultural use and other types of development, wild plants and animals vanish," warns the EDF. This will have direct bearing on the sustainability of human life.

About the Author

Kandra Sperling is a freelance writer and photojournalist with more than 30 years' experience. She has worked as a community news editor, writer and photographer for the "Morning News of Northwest Arkansas." She has received three awards from the National Press Women's Association and numerous state awards. Sperling earned a bachelor's degree in English and journalism from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.