Food - Drink
The Reason Some People Do Not Consider Figs Vegan-Friendly
By CLAIRE REDDEN
Veganism can be perceived in many different ways, and not everyone who considers themselves vegan follows the exact same diet. Some foods that have little-known links to animals, such as sugar processed with bone char, are controversial in plant-based diets, and figs, a seemingly normal fruit, are also in a gray area.
Wasps are the only natural pollinators for figs, but not in the same mutually-beneficial way that bees pollinate other species. A 2001 study from the National Library of Medicine found that female wasps must break off their antennas and wings to fit through a fig's small opening, where they lay their eggs inside the fruit and die shortly after.
Over time, enzymes in the fig break the wasps' bodies as the eggs prepare ready to hatch, and after the eggs do hatch, male larvae enter the fig to mate with the female larvae, and they all eventually leave the fruit — carrying the fig's pollen with them in the process. In doing so, they carry on both their own life cycles and that of the figs.
The pollination of figs is a natural, symbiotic relationship that both the insect and plant rely on for survival, but some still say that figs are not vegan, since they mature via the death of an animal. However, a majority of vegan dieters consider figs to be safe, and what one person consumes simply comes down to their personal approach.