Hate to break this to you, if you're a firm believer in immaterial consciousness, but we humans are animals. Specifically, mammals of the primate variety, close relatives of chimpanzees, gorillas, and such.
In his book, "Being You: A New Science of Consciousness," Anil Seth lays out his well-informed view of consciousness. (He's a professor of cognitive and computational neuroscience at the University of Sussex.)
Seth gave a TEDx talk about his beast machine theory.
Here's some of what Seth has to say in his book about the beast machine theory.
The beast machine theory grounds experiences of world and self in a biological drive toward staying alive.
...The beast machine theory proposes that consciousness in humans and other animals arose in evolution, emerges in each of us during development, and operates from moment to moment in ways intimately connected with our status as living systems.
All of our experiences and perceptions stem from our nature as self-sustaining living machines that care about their own persistence.
My intuition -- and again it's only an intuition -- is that the materiality of life will turn out to be important for all manifestations of consciousness. One reason for this is that the imperative for regulation and self-maintenance in living systems isn't restricted to just one level, such as the integrity of the whole body.
Self-maintenance for living systems goes all the way down -- even down to the level of individual cells. Every cell in your body -- in any body -- is continually regenerating the conditions necessary for its own integrity over time.
...This shouldn't be taken to imply that individual cells are conscious, or that all living organisms are conscious. The point is that the processes of physiological regulation that underpin consciousness and selfhood in the beast machine theory are bootstrapped from fundamental life processes "all the way down."
In this view, it is life, rather than information processing, that breathes the fire into the equations.
...Seen this way, the fuss about machine consciousness is symptomatic of an increasing alienation from our biological nature and from our evolutionary heritage.
The beast machine perspective differs from this narrative in almost every way. In my theory, as we've seen, the entirety of human experience and mental life arises because of, and not in spite of, our nature as self-sustaining biological organisms that care about their own persistence.
This view of consciousness and human nature does not exclude the possibility of conscious machines, but it does undercut the amped-up techno-rapture narrative of soon-to-be-sentient computers that propels our fears and permeates our dreams.
From the beast machine perspective, the quest to understand consciousness places us increasingly within nature, not further apart from it.
Just as it should.