Importance of Plants & Animals in Human Life

Written by kandra sperling
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Importance of Plants & Animals in Human Life
Red panda ("The Lookout" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: joo0ey (Joey) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

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.

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Facts

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.

Importance of Plants & Animals in Human Life
Plants provide essential nutrients vital to human life. ("Hurricane Weed?" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Todd Baker << technowannabe (Todd Baker) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Living Pharmaceutical Resources

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).

Importance of Plants & Animals in Human Life
Medicines have been developed from plants found in rainforests. ("Demon lizard!" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: robstephaustralia (Rob and Stephanie Levy) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Living Foodbanks

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.

Importance of Plants & Animals in Human Life
Many fish species are consumed by humans. ("Mucho Jacks" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: laszlo-photo (LASZLO ILYES) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Development of New Crops

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 Plants & Animals in Human Life
Wild mushrooms ("Pair" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: bbjee (B Balaji) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Importance 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.

Importance of Plants & Animals in Human Life
Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. ("Reborn" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Nicholas_T (Nicholas) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Warnings

"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.

Importance of Plants & Animals in Human Life
Ecosystems such as prairies and the plants and animals therein should be protected. ("Sodden" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Nicholas_T (Nicholas) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

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