James Blunt Ate Nothing But Meat to Prove His Manliness. Then He Got Scurvy.

Philip Ellis
·2 mins read

From Men's Health

Musician James Blunt, with his maudlin ballads and gentle, warbling voice, is not exactly known for espousing toxic masculinity. But as he recently confessed to fellow singer Jessie Ware on the latest episode of her podcast Table Manners, he wasn't always so evolved. And once, going too far in order to prove some kind of point ended with him becoming very ill indeed.

Openly describing himself as having been "thoroughly immature" in his youth, Blunt explained that when he first started attending the University of Bristol, his strictly carnivorous diet of chicken and ground beef (which he adopted in order to try and piss off some vegans and prove his manliness) led to some pretty serious symptoms.

"On the engineering side there were 170 men, and only three girls, and then on the sociology side of things there were 170 girls and only three boys, of which all the girls were vegetarians or vegans," he told Ware. "And so, out of principle, I decided that I would become a carnivore."

"I just lived on mince, some chicken, maybe with some mayonnaise, and it took me about six to eight weeks to get very, very unhealthy and see a doctor, who said 'I think you've got the symptoms of scurvy,'" he continued. "He said 'you're really lacking in vitamin C,' so then I just took it upon myself to drink a liter of orange juice every night, and then I immediately developed acid reflux. So as you can see, yeah, food is not necessarily my forte."

The idea of meat as a symbol of masculinity is a popular and pervasive one, but it's been getting some pushback over the last few years. In the 2019 documentary The Game Changers, which explores the rise of plant-based diets in professional sports, action movie star and former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger decried the idea that the carnivore diet is inherently manly.

"There’s no one that can relate to it better than I do because I’ve lived in that world," he said. "'Steak is for men'... They show these commercials—burgers, George Foreman with the grill and epic sandwich—this is great, great marketing for the meat industry, selling the idea that real men eat meat. But you’ve got to understand, it’s marketing. It’s not based on reality."

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