Beautiful description of the importance of animal souls, from the Mathew Messages:
Animals are souls; each is a part of Source just as you are and they evolve just as you do. Among some species are souls of highly evolved humans who chose to embody in those forms specifically to enhance the bonding spirit between all animal life and humankind. Love is the key—animals show you how to love without conditions or limitations.
The intelligence of higher orders is very close to yours, and species-wide, the cetacean family of whales and dolphins comprises the most highly evolved souls on the planet intellectually and spiritually. The spectrum of animals’ emotions and characteristics is similar to yours too, except for acquired traits like tact, deceit, bitterness and killing for sport; and in some ways their awareness is superior. They know your thoughts, they are more energy-sensitive than most people, and one or more of their basic five senses is keener than yours.
They are multidimensional souls just as you are, but they consciously go back and forth between physical and spirit worlds, and they understand that there is no such thing as “death.” They communicate telepathically with each other and interact with the myriad Devic souls about whom most people know little or nothing, yet these precious beings are indispensable to the flourishing of all life on Earth.
Let us back up a bit here. Eons ago animals lived peaceably with each other and with the peoples, and there was telepathic communication among all life forms, including the plant and Devic kingdoms. The entire planet was the Garden of Eden then and every life flourished. When strong civilizations with dark proclivity succumbed to the will of the dark forces, they downgraded the DNA of weaker civilizations and included brutality and they introduced the ferocity in animals that led to the predator-prey chain. As the light in people’s consciousness dimmed, they started massacring each other and the animals—that is what caused the planet to spiral down into deep third density and stay stuck there for long ages.