What you are speaking of is essentially Bergson's concept of the "elan vital," or the vital force of life. It is a force or "spark" he thought to be infused into matter that gives it life, self-organization, and in some non-specific way some kind of consciousness. But using the elan vital in some synonomous sense with consciounsess these days I think is an abuse of the term. When we think of consciousness as people, we think about human consciousness, self awareness, and the ability for us to pose the question all under the rubric of "consciousness." If you are speaking of any type of consciouness other than what I just described, you are abstracting some sort of phenomenonological capability in non-human organisms that you do not have access to and therefore cannot scientifically comment on.
Therefore, before you assert that it is consciousness that gives life to a living being, it is important to define the properties of the consciousness you speak of. Is it self aware, can it form thoughts in an operational manner as described by Piaget, does it have access to and can it communicate and introspective report, etc. Otherwisw, any discussion on the subject is what I call gypsy philosophy.