Dame Vivienne Westwood believes vegetables can cure ailments.

The 72-year-old fashion designer claims sticking to a vegetarian diet can helped people with disabilities, and she knows first hand because ditching meat got rid of the rheumatism in her finger.

She said while launching a new campaign by animal rights group PETA: ''There are certain clinics where it is really strict vegetarian and there are people who have been in wheelchairs who have recovered from this diet.

''It does cure all kinds of things if you have a vegetarian diet. I used to have rheumatism -- and I have a crocked finger. But now I don't have any rheumatic pain any more.''

Dame Vivienne's comments sparked outrage last night (20.03.14) among disabilities groups, who claimed she should provide ''medical evidence'' before she starts creating ''false hope''.

A spokesman for the spinal injury charity Aspire told The Sun newspaper: ''These so-called cures create false hope in the immediate aftermath of a life-changing injury and can cause significant harm.''

Dame Vivienne teamed up with PETA, which promotes ethical treatment of animals, to raise awareness of how the world's water supplies are depleted by the meat trade.