Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life was not for him.
English singer James Blunt was so committed to being a carnivore in college that he went on an all-meat diet — and developed scurvy — to show up his vegan and vegetarian classmates.
The 46-year-old “You’re Beautiful” crooner was an aerospace manufacturing engineering and sociology student at the University of Bristol in the ’90s when he decided to try out his contrarian antics to show up his fellow plant-eating students, who were mostly female.
“On the sociology side of things, there were 170 girls and only three boys, of which all the girls were vegetarian or vegans,” he told Jessie Ware on her podcast Table Manners on August 18. “So out of principle, I decided I’d become a carnivore and just lived on mince [ground meat], some chicken, maybe with some mayonnaise.”
But, alas, the animal flesh diet did him no good and led to a severe lack of vitamin C and a case of the old pirate plague, scurvy.
“It took me about six to eight weeks to get very unhealthy and see a doctor, who then said, ‘I think you’ve got the symptoms of scurvy,’ ” he admitted.
So he attempted to cure his sea-rover disease with juice, but failed again.
“He said, ‘You are really lacking in vitamin C,’ so I took it upon myself to drink orange juice every night — then I nearly developed acid reflux,” Blunt said.
Scurvy commonly affected sailors since they had little access to fresh foods while at sea, and it killed an estimated two million sailors between 1500 and 1800, Atlas Obscura reported.
Notably, Ferdinand Magellan’s round-the-world tour in 1520 was overrun with scurvy, and only 18 of his 230 men returned.
Early symptoms include weakness, fatigue, sore limbs, irritability and reduced appetite. If left untreated, people can develop tooth decay, gingivitis, anemia, heavy bruising, internal bleeding and more. The afflicted often died from infection or losing too much blood.
Diet authorities say the human body needs ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, in order to function. It can be found in all kinds of fruits and veggies like dark leafy greens, berries and, of course, oranges.