They certainly have meaningful relationships.
... in modern Western science, the whole concept of life is so mechanical that, if you look closely, not even people are supposed to be anthropomorphized. Emotional, holistic terms such as love, sorrow, and concern have no place in an impoverished language of chemical transactions at the micro level and selection pressures at the macro. Not that chemical transactions and selection pressures are not essential influences, because of course they are — but from our current knowledge of them, they are acutely inadequate to describing the subtleties of lived experience.
This framework goes back to Descartes, whose dualistic universe of absolute mind at one end and absolute matter at the other admitted nothing in between. Indeed, Descartes reasoned that since animals are not rational, they are not conscious, and since they are not conscious, they cannot even be aware of pain; their piteous howls during the horrible experiments he conducted on them were to him mere reflex, the unfelt expression of material reactions akin to the shrieking of a teakettle.