This paper addresses an area which has not been given serious consideration in social welfare and social work literature, the instrumental use of nonhuman animals, in particular as food, and argues that the welfare of humans and other animals are intertwined. The paper examines the consequences of animal exploitation for humans in terms of health, well-being, environmental damage, and exploitation of vulnerable human groups. The paper concludes that a necessary redefinition of social welfare entails attention to these issues and the recognition that other animals have inherent value and their rights must be respected.

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