The King James Authorized Version, revised and edited by W. C. Sanderson, indicates in a footnote that "soul" or "living being" are alternative translations for "life".
The soul perceives, thinks, feels, and makes decisions and choices. In man, the soul can also cause sin. God gave man the choice to choose sin or righteousness, to worship himself or God.
The lesser animals were not given this choice. God put them under the protection and dominion of man.
Genesis : 9, 13-17
I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between Me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."
So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between Me and all life on the earth."
"And EVERY creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and ALL that are in them, hear I saying, "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the lamb forever and ever."
"Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father."
Genesis : 9, 13-17
The same fate awaits man and animals alike.
Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 TEV
"I decided that God is testing us, to show us that we are no better than animals. After all, the same fate awaits man and animals alike. One dies just like the other. They are the same kind of creature. A human being is no better off than an animal, because life has no meaning for either. They are both going to the same place -- the dust. They both came from it; they will both go back to it. How can anyone be sure that a man's spirit goes upward while an animal's spirit goes down into the ground?"
"...Thus also said God to Noe Noah), and to his sons with him, behold, I establish my covenant with you and with your seed after you; And with every living soul that is with you, as well in all birds as in cattle and beasts of the earth, that are come forth out of the ark, I will establish my covenant with you, and all flesh shall be no more destroyed with the waters of a flood.
And Goid said: This is the sign of the covenant which I give between me and you, and to every living soul that is with you, for perpetual generations. And I will remember my covenant with you, and with every living soul that beareth flesh: and there shall no more be waters of a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the clouds, and I shall see it, and shall remember the everlasting covenant that was made between God and every living soul of all flesh which is upon the earth."
"A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal."
"Every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine."
"Ask the animals, and they will teach you."
"All creatures recognize Jesus as the Savior of the world and praise God right along with redeemed men.
Psalm 145:-9-10,13,15-21 AMP
Though all creatures are subject to man's cruelty, God loves all His creation and has made plans for all His children and the lesser creatures to enjoy His eternal Kingdom.
Romans 8:19 (KJV)
The lesser creatures await Christ's return to redeem the sons of God so they, too, will be released from physical death to eternal life.
Revelation 5:13 KJV
And every creature which is in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying. Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Romans 8:21-22 KJV
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.