India text teaches meat-eaters "commit sex crimes"

Children attend a Global Handwashing Day event at Worli Seaface Mumbai Municipal Corporation School Oct. 15, 2012, in Mumbai, India. Getty Images for Unilever

A children's textbook in India has caused an uproar for including among its lessons that people who eat meat lie, cheat and "commit sex crimes," the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday.

The textbook is one of nine published by the Indian company S. Chand Group under the "New Healthway" title. The No. 6 book, which the BBC reports is for students 11 and 12 years old, includes one chapter titled "Do We Need Flesh Food?", which claims to describe the behavior of people who aren't vegetarians.

"They easily cheat, tell lies, forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes," part of that chapter reads, according to the BBC.

"The strongest argument that meat is not essential food is the fact that the Creator of this Universe did not include meat in the original diet for Adam and Eve. He gave them fruits, nuts and vegetables," reads another passage.

An overwhelming majority of Indians follow the religion of Hinduism, whose followers believe that souls can be reborn in the form of animals or humans.

A third selection reads: "The Arabs who helped in constructing the Suez Canal lived on wheat and dates and were superior to the beef-fed Englishmen engaged in the same work."

S. Chand didn't respond to the BBC's request for a comment. The news outlet reported it's not known how many schools in India have bought the book.

"This is poisonous for children," Janaki Rajan, an education professor at Jamia Millia University in New Delhi, told the BBC.

  • Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for CBSNews.com

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