Every creature in the world is important - from the largest whale to the tiniest grain of sand.
According to Judaism, each and every creature or object in our world was created for a reason. Each and every creature or object is important, each and every creature or object has a role within the creation. Each and every creature in the world has God watching over it, reviewing it, providing for it.
In most cases we will never know the actual role of a specific creature or object. In some cases it was revealed to us - through tradition or in the Bible - what was the role of a
specific creature or object. In some cases a creature or an object had or will have just one single incident where it played or would play a significant role; God created it for that specific event.
The entire creation is divided into four categories:
1. Still objects
2. Plants and trees.
3. Living creatures.
4. Human beings.
The role of each and every creature is dictated by the category it belongs to. Each and every category has a role based on its 'skills'. Each and every category is in 'service' of the categories above it, 'assisting' them in their roles.
Still objects - rather natural still objects (soil, rocks, air) are in service of plants and trees. Trees and plants need soil in order to grow; their food is provided by the soil - water, minerals, oxygen etc. Same works for animals and human beings who 'live' on the land and use the materials for housing and more. Still objects do not move around, do not grow and can not produce. Still objects have no form of communication with any other creature - even with their own kind.
Trees and plants are one level up: they grow, develop and produce. Trees and plants have a very primitive form of communication with the environment. Trees and plants are in 'service' of animals and human beings - food, building materials, shelter and more.
Animals are one level up: they grow, develop and multiply. Animals can move around. Animals communicate. Animals are in 'service' of the human beings: food, clothing, labor, transportation and more. Judaism recognizes a difference between predators and animals that feed on grass and other plants since predators distort the 'natural order' of hierarchy in the creation (consuming their 'own' rather then living off of the level below).
The common feature to all three categories - still objects, plants and trees, animals - is that they can not advance themselves. A rock can not turn itself into a mountain, a bush can not 'develop itself' to become a tree, an animal will never act or reach beyond of its instincts.
Human beings are the upper group; the human being is called 'the speaking'. Physically, human beings could be considered animals - as science would categorize the human beings. They are not.
Human beings posses the skill of speaking. What makes the human being a superior creature is the ability to speak, express thoughts, ideas and feelings and share them with other people. Communicating is only one aspect or virtue of the human being's verbal skills. What makes the human being a superior creature is the ability to translate thoughts into words, to be able to convey to others sophisticated and complex ideas and use our communication abilities and verbal skills to create, develop and build.
In addition, human beings, unlike any other creature, have the awareness to distinguish between good and bad and are required to conduct their actions based on morals. Human beings are not animals. Animals do not operate based on 'good' or 'bad'. They have an 'auto pilot'. A predator that kills an animal and eats it is not doing anything bad; feeding on grass does not make goats and cows 'good'. Animals have no morals; animals are not committed to any form of 'proper conduct' - besides the instincts that are the blue print of what they are.
Considering the above, the entire physical creation is in service of the human being.
Yet, while the human being's mission in the world is to develop and create, the human being has a lot of responsibility towards the creation. Rather, the human being is the only creature that has such responsibility.
Moreover, each and every creature in the world has a form of spirituality. Even still objects.
The form of spirituality of still objects is the most primitive. Human beings possess the highest form of spirituality.
In fact, the human being possesses the POTENTIAL to achieve high levels of spirituality.
Human beings, unlike any other creature and just like in physical matters, can develop and advance their levels of spirituality.