veganmonk wrote:I see it as being full of dead wasps, their reproductive fluids, and their egg embryo things - rather disgusting to me, and definitely contains things that are not considered vegan.
Perhaps we are too aware
Both of those statements are true.
"The syconium often has a bulbous shape with a small opening (the ostiole) at the outward end that allows access to pollinators. The flowers are pollinated by very small wasps that crawl through the opening in search of a suitable place to lay eggs. Without this pollinator service fig trees cannot reproduce by seed. In turn, the flowers provide a safe haven and nourishment for the next generation of wasps. Technically, a fig fruit proper would be one of the many tiny mature, seed-bearing flowers found inside one fig - if you cut open a fresh fig, the flowers will appear as fleshy "threads", each bearing a single seed inside.
Most figs come in two sexes: hermaphrodite and female. The former are called "inedible figs", caprifigs or Caprinae: in traditional Common Fig culture in the Mediterranean, they were considered food for goats (Capra aegagrus). In the female fig trees, the male flower parts fail to develop; they produce the "edible figs". Fig wasps grow in Common Fig caprifigs but not in the female syconiums because the female flower is too long for the wasp to successfully lay her eggs in them. Nonetheless, the wasp pollinates the flower with pollen from the fig it grew up in, so figs with developed seeds also contain dead fig wasps almost too tiny to see. Fig wasps are not known to transmit any diseases harmful to humans, and the high sugar content of dried figs renders them fairly sterile."