Are Figs Vegan?

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Do you consider figs vegan?

Yes, vegans can eat figs.
55
96%
No, vegans shouldn't eat figs.
2
4%
 
Total votes : 57

Are Figs Vegan?

Postby veganmonk » Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:27 pm

Do you consider figs vegan?

I personally do not, after seeing the relationship fig wasps have with them.

If you eat figs, you are consuming dead wasps. Wasps pollinate figs and and their larvae grow within them, and some do not make it out of the fig and die within. I consider these to be a form of life for wasps and you are directly consuming dead insects with these, rather than trace amounts say if a fly was caught in a carrot harvester. But, with veggies, you can wash them, and there are no insects nesting inside (other than worms in corn and that type of thing), but in general, you are not guaranteed to be eating dead insects with other veggies nor did they nest inside them.

I think figs are not-vegan.

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More info:
http://www.figweb.org/Interaction/Life_cycle/index.htm
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Postby loveliberate » Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:39 pm

Thangs that make ya go hmmm... :D

I rarely eat figs anymore but used to eat them all the time as a kid because I lived by fig trees. I dont recall ever seeing or tasting any wasp larvae - you sure all figs are like that? Perhaps more importantly, how much B-12 is in wasp larvae carcasses? :wink:
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Postby veganmonk » Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:53 pm

I don't know if there is a certain species of fig that could be an exception.

It does seem that wasps are required to pollinate Figs.

Quotes from:
http://waynesword.palomar.edu/pljune99.htm

The World's Most Delicious Figs Require A Tiny Symbiotic Wasp To Pollinate Its Minute Flowers. So the next time you enjoy a dried Calimyrna fig, or munch on a premium fig newton, think about the female wasps that literally gave their lives to make this delicious fruit possible.
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Postby seasiren » Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:07 pm

What are figs? :?
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Postby loveliberate » Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:17 pm

seasiren wrote:What are figs? :?


Really?!?! :shock:

Figs are the rather tasty fruit that provide a final resting place for some wasp larvae. :wink:

http://www.californiafigs.com/about/varietal.html
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Postby seasiren » Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:08 pm

Thank-you for the link, I don't think I have ever had one before....although I have had a fig newton cookie years ago (maybe it had figs in it). Didn't care for it much, but then again I don't like most sweets.

Back to the original question...I would need more information. But if the production of a fig MUST involve the direct work or product of an animal, then I would say they are not vegan.
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Postby Crash » Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:43 pm

My parents have a fig tree in their backyard that produces wonderful figs and I've never seen any wasps in the area. :? I looked online for more information and found this...
Flowering
Figs don't really have flowers as such, the flower is actually inside the fruit! Close examination of a fig fruit will reveal a tiny hole opposite the stem end. In their natural environment a tiny wasp enters this hole and pollinates the 'flower' within. Figs don't need pollinating to produce fruit so you shouldn't worry about this aspect of growing - but it was worth mentioning.

Based on this I think that figs are still vegan.
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Postby veganmonk » Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:45 pm

Strange how that info is completely the contrary of what the california fig producer stated and the info on this page:

http://waynesword.palomar.edu/pljune99.htm
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Postby surfvegan » Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:54 pm

it seems like the wasps are more likely to be found in calimyrna figs, I didn't read the whole site but it didn't seem to mention the wasps for other kinds of figs
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Postby Crash » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:31 pm

I think surfvegan got it, as this other website states:
Flowers: The tiny flowers of the fig are out of sight, clustered inside the green "fruits", technically a synconium. Pollinating insects gain access to the flowers through an opening at the apex of the synconium. In the case of the common fig the flowers are all female and need no pollination. There are 3 other types, the caprifig which has male and female flowers requiring visits by a tiny wasp, Blastophaga grossorum; the Smyrna fig, needing cross-pollination by caprifigs in order to develop normally; and the San Pedro fig which is intermediate, its first crop independent like the common fig, its second crop dependent on pollination.


I think our disagreement comes from the generalization of the information that the site you are using for reference and the one I used for reference inferred for all figs. So I'll revise my original comment that some figs are vegan, except the Blastophaga grossorum, Smyrna and San Pedro figs. Do we agree on this ?

(If interested the previous quote came from this website.)
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Postby loveliberate » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:33 pm

BUT - what about the B12?!?!? :lol:
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Postby veganmonk » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:37 pm

lol LIB! Somebody get this man some nutritional yeast!

Watching this video is a good way to see this unique relationship and how it differs from other pollination:
http://www.figweb.org/Interaction/Video/index.htm

I personally see it as knowledeable consumption of dead wasps, and a product that is a known habitat for wasp larvae and breeding grounds, and therefore much different than say an apple.

Although, I suppose once they have left it, it is only the dead females and males left inside that we consume, but nonetheless, they are in there.
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Postby Crash » Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:20 am

I guess we'll agree to disagree as imo no pollination needed means no bugs are needed to create the fruit.
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Postby jemmyducks » Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:50 am

I love figs and have been eating a lot. I'm hoping the "some figs are vegan" wins out in this one, but if I knew all figs had dead wasps in them, I'd stop eating them.

Seasiren wrote: "But if the production of a fig MUST involve the direct work or product of an animal, then I would say they are not vegan."

Well, LOTS of plants require the direct work of bees as pollinators. And worms to aerate the soil. And all sorts of other bugs and bigger animals who fertilize the soil. We can't cut animals out of the food-production cycle! although we can certainly stop abusing their relationships with plants.

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Postby veganmonk » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:16 am

After watching the video, I think if I'm not mistaken, all figs require pollination, but within each fig, are male and female flower components, and the male side does not get pollinated, but, that really doesn't mean anything.

I think the argument is that if you wait until they are done and all hatched, that you aren't going to be eating visible wasps, only those that died in it, which is all the females that initially layed eggs in there, and all the males.

But watch the video, it really is interesting.

I see it as being full of dead wasps, their reproductive fluids, and their egg embryo things - rather disgusting to me, and definately contains things that are not considered vegan.

Beautiful process to watch and amazing how they do this.

In nature though, I'm sure other herbivores eat figs and don't have problems consuming insects.

Perhaps we are too aware :shock:
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