EcoGeek interviews Daniel Quinn, thinker and author. The excerpt below highlights the human illusion that other species are expendable.
Earthworms are more important to the life of this planet than humans are, and if earthworms disappear, we humans will follow very soon after. It’s vital that we get it into our heads that we are members of a community and dependent on that community the same way every other member is. We cannot exist apart from it. We don’t "own" that community. We aren’t custodians of it (it takes care of itself and did so successfully for billions of years before our appearance). We need it, absolutely and forever; it doesn’t need us. If there are still people here in 200 years, they will know this without the slightest doubt.
PS: Earthworms are essential for healthy soil. Healthy soil is essential to food production. Petroleum-based fertilizers are not good for earthworms. Pesticides and herbicides are bad for earthworms.