Heather Mills became a vegan to save her leg.

The 47-year-old activist had to have her left leg amputated below the knee in 1993 after she was hit by a police motorcycle and after more operations on her limb, which further shortened it, she decided to ditch her conventional diet and go meat and dairy free.

Heather was inspired to make her radical switch after receiving advice from a friend, who told her to try to heal her leg by changing her diet.

Although she was initially sceptical, Heather was amazed by the results the change had after she went to the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida and began eating a raw food vegan diet.

Speaking to BANG Showbiz following the opening of her latest VBites café at the new Holland & Barrett store in Foregate Street, Chester, England, she said: ''I didn't really have an understanding of healthy food when I went vegan, I did it to stop my leg from being chopped off more, I didn't want to lose my knee. My friend told me that she cured herself of breast cancer by going completely vegan, and I went, 'Vegan smegan, what on earth? I can't give up my meat.' But she dragged me off to America and basically saved my knee.''

As well as her VBites eateries, Heather also owns VBites Foods which manufactures and sells meat substitutes such as vegan duck, vegan sausages, meat-free pies and vegan roast beef among many other products.

Heather - who has 11-year-old daughter Beatrice with her ex-husband Sir Paul McCartney - insists her motivation for making meat alternative products is to slowly convert the world's carnivores to veganism and she knows she can't do that without satisfying their craving for meat.

She explained: ''A lot of vegans said to me, 'Why are you making fake meat?' And I said, 'It's because it's about converting a carnivore one day at a time.' Through the transitional period you can't just take someone from burger to broccoli. As we know Jamie Oliver tried it, it's impossible. But what happens is after six months on a vegan replication diet, you start to crave more vegetables and salads ... Everybody wants to try it (vegan food), people see that it's the future. We can't carry on at the rate we are. You know 10 kilos of soy will feed 10 times more people than if it goes to a cow. If we do keep moving in that direction, which we're trying to do, then there'd be no such thing as world starvation it would totally save the planet and the animals and people's health and the environment.''

Heather is launching her VBites range of vegan food across the entire UK with Holland & Barrett and you can try the range in over 500 high street stores today.''