THE SELFISH GENE:
All life forms on earth, all species, are simply transportation and replication packages for the genes which they, in their wisdom, have constructed to take over the planet. That's why the individual transporter life forms are disposable, only the information encoded in the DNA is important and worth preserving, because that is what all life amounts to - simply self replicating information embodying a master intelligence many orders of magnitude greater than that of any of the transporter forms has in its brain.
Only the genes are alive and intelligent, all the rest is infrastructure. :-)