Indian Textbook Says Eating Meat Leads to Bad Behavior

December 31, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings 
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. maintain (v.)  [meyn-teyn] – to say that some kind of information or idea is true
Example: The government maintains that the city’s tap water is safe to drink.

2. morality (n.) [muh-ral-i-tee, maw-] – a person’s set of values based on the accepted beliefs of a society
Example: People say the person who did the terrible crime had no morality.

3. anomaly (n.) [uh-nom-uh-lee] – something unusual or unexpected that does not follow standards
Example: The machine automatically checks for anomalies in the products.

4. impressionable (adj.) [im-presh-uh-nuh-buh l, -presh-nuh-] – easily affected or influenced by something
ExampleImpressionable children should be guided by their parents and teachers.

5. distort (v.) [dih-stawrt] – to cause an unnatural change to the form or condition of something
Example: Stress can distort people’s thinking pattern and can change their behavior.

Read the text below.

A controversial new textbook for schools in India claims that eating meat makes people lie, cheat, steal and commit other crimes.

The book, titled “New Healthway: Health, Hygiene, Physiology, Safety, Sex Education, Games and Exercises,” maintains that eating meat causes people to do actions against morality.

Vineet Joshi, chief of the Central Board of Secondary Education, says the book was not approved by the Board. According to Joshi, schools are given freedom to choose their own textbooks based on standards set by the Indian government.

M.M. Pallam Raju, the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, asserts that the book is an undesirable anomaly. He believes the government needs to better check the content of textbooks, which are read by young and impressionable students.

In the country, several groups promote the non-physical effects of vegetarianism. At the Tihar jail, for example, prisoners are given vegetarian food because of the belief that meat distorts a person’s way of thinking while vegetables produce positive changes in the mind.

B.K. Sushant of the Brahma Kumaris educational institution agrees that meat is not good for people. He said poisonous chemicals are released when animals are killed, and these harmful chemicals, when eaten, affect a person negatively.

However, Professor Tanvir Aeijab from Ramjas College does not believe food impacts people’s morality. Aeijab explained that the kind of food people eat depends on their culture and origin. He said that at their school, they have not seen any difference between students who are vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

Viewpoint Discussion 
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A 

·         Do you agree that what you eat influences your personality or your actions? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think some people prefer to have a vegetarian diet?
Discussion B

·         What is your opinion on the quality of students’ textbooks in your country?
·         How would you describe a good learning or study material?


December 31, 2012