First of all nobody knows if animals or trees have a soul but God has never said anything about them having souls and has talked many times about us having souls k. So what to if some religions think that trees have souls they think is the key word .And that's where the arrogance lies.
We've created ideas that animals have no souls, and even insinuate that animals are there FOR US, for comfort. ... created from arrogant religious groups that believed the need for "special attention" and "help" made them better than animals. If anything, the constant showing of God was not so much as a blessing to our necessary lives, but as a sad truth that we humans could not take care of ourselves.
... if you even read half of the Old Testament, you could easily see that God literally had to walk us through the simplest of steps because we humans questioned and fooled around with so many things that we couldn't be trusted to ourselves! Though God would grace anything in His "appearance" (I wouldn't call it that, but that's a different topic altogether), the fact that He had to intervene in many of our situations showed how weak and pathetic we humans were. ...we were given intimate knowledge beforehand how things worked and what we needed to know, but our curiosity went beyond the safety "common sense" zones that we became even more idiotic than we started! Pathetic, I say.
...I'd love to number the amount of religions and cults that predated Christianity, but the numbers that existed doesn't count. What counts is the overwhelming numbers that believed EVERYTHING has a soul.
We often discount the idea that even leaves and trees have a spirit, yet many spiritual and cult studies have generally believed in the fact that even those had souls.
Using inanimate objects within curses and sacrifices were not just because of their symbolism - it was also said they contained a spirit, a certain form of energy.
Depending which cult/religion/belief you look into, they have different names...
Those of old witchcraft would have called these of a "elemental spirit" of some sort - or a season soul. Practitioners of Aikido and just general studiers of Ki, call this "Ki" or perhaps an earthen tanden. Druids have a different name for it. Hell, even Egyptian cults had names for the spirits of the desert.
If hundreds if not thousands of religions and cults that have existed before Christianity believed that there were souls in everything, and if the Bible never mentioned SPECIFICALLY that these objects/animals contained no spirit or energy: Then I highly doubt that even in the Christian beliefs truly believe that.
What you're listening to, is a misinformed pastor/teacher. There are millions of them.
"Fact" is, the general belief of God making humans as the highest of beings is a joke. We may be more privileged with the mental and spiritual capacities that we have, but we were supposed to use those as guardians and cultivators of the earth. We've abused these skills and even claimed we were favored because of such.
...God cannot favor, the idea of that is blasphemous.
...heck, even the belief of God WANTING anything, or even perceiving that He told us to do this or that - is blasphemous. God isn't a being that exists within time, for 'being' would limit Him to a form, 'exists' would limit Him to a dimension, and 'time' would limit Him to His own creation.
What you have there, is a false god. A god created from your own perceptions, or perhaps a perception given unto you by semi-blind preachers.
Don't bring God into the discussion of the positive light of humans, for that does nothing but disgrace us even more than we are now.