Dear DDBB, thank you so much for participating in this dialogue. I absolutely love your questions and these are issues that are dear to my heart too. Those “other” beings which so often are ignored or harmed by humans, the entirety of our planet… we need indeed to find ways to heal it all.
To offer my take on your question, free will has to do with awareness. The more awareness, the more free will. All beings have only so much free will as they have awareness. Also, I would say… what we are not aware of we are not responsible for, simply because we are not even aware of it. But we might become aware through the effects of our actions, which some call karma. To us, those effects come right out of nowhere, and they do come out of that which is beyond our conscious awareness. Through repetition, we might start to see what was unseen to us before, see beyond our smallness to that which is infinite.
I guess that step by step, consciousness is becoming aware of itself in all of us, and karma is the way this process works. Through our ignorant actions we become aware of much more. The problem is that it takes (too much!!) time 🙂 On the other hand, time is a construct in timelessness… right? 🙂