If you eat meat you "easily cheat, lie, forget promises and commit sex crimes", according to a controversial school textbook called New Healthway, which is on hygiene and health for 11 and 12 year-olds and is printed by one of India's leading publishers.

"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 a chapter entitled Do We Need Flesh Food?

One chapter refers to Eskimos (Inuit) as "lazy, sluggish and short-lived", because they live on "a diet largely of meat". It adds: "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."

It is not known which Indian schools have bought the book for their students, but correspondents say what is worrying is that such a book is available to students.

India textbook says meat-eaters lie and commit sex crimes - BBC