Vegetarian campaigner Peter Cox explains why eating meat is bad for our health.

Peter Cox a former chief executive of the Vegetarian Society has caused controversy in Britain with his book 'You Don't Need Meat’. The book details the dangers of growth hormones in meat and exposes the lengths the meat industry goes to in order to encourage the public to consume meat.

They've got a vested interest in making you and me keep on eating meat.

A vegetarian since the age of two, Peter Cox believes that many young people these days feel the same about meat in their diet. The fact that scientific evidence now tells us that meat consumption is not essential for balanced nutrition means,

We should seriously question whether we should reduce our meat consumption, or indeed cut it out completely.

Audience member Erica Murray who is also the information officer for the Irish Association of Health Stores has personal experience of health issues caused by eating meat. Diagnosed with sensitivities to antibiotic residues in meat as an adult, a whole food and vegetarian diet has helped restore her health.

She agrees with Peter Cox’s claim on the link between the twentieth century diet and disease. She also questions the logic of EEC (European Economic Community) funds spent on subsidising foods that impact negatively on public health in the long term.

Which subsequently cause governments to have to spend tremendous amounts of money on medical services.

Another committed vegetarian in the audience is Catherine Corless, who as a teenager stepped away from eating meat she disagrees with the cruelty involved in slaughtering animals,

I just got the feeling that it was wrong to be killing animals because I'm very fond of all types of animals.

Peter Cox thinks If people decide to go with a meat free diet that is up to them but at present the general public are not generally knowledgeable about what goes into the meat they eat,

Consumers have the right to make the choice, and they cannot make the choice at the moment because they just don't know the facts.

This episode of The Late Late Show was broadcast on 26 September 1986. The presenter is Gay Byrne.