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Are figs vegan or not?

Are figs vegan or not? Why the answer is not as clear as you think

Are figs vegan? If you're asking yourself this question or wondering why the sweet tropical fruit might be associated with animal suffering, you've come to the right place! In fact, there is no general answer to the initial question. After all, there are different types of figs that reproduce in different ways. The figs we know from the supermarket actually need animal assistance to reproduce. So are vegans allowed to eat figs?

In this article, you can now find out briefly and concisely which animal the Plant pollinatedwhether figs are still suitable for vegans and whether there are figs that are guaranteed to be purely plant-based. Let's go!

Why are many figs not vegan?

Figs are pollinated by animals

If you look at it very strictly, the "True fig" or "Edible fig". (lat. Ficus carica), which we get in the food retail trade, is not vegan. It only has one female flower and therefore needs the female flower to reproduce. Blossoms of the sycamore fig. In their male and female, inward-facing flowers, female flowers lay Fig wasps (there are around 35 species) lay their eggs. However, they then die in them because the fig flowers are extremely narrow and they are unable to free themselves - usually because their wings are torn off.

However, the offspring of the fig wasps grow in the plant galls. The males die after mating with the females - but the latter can free themselves from the flower and, equipped with the pollen necessary for fertilizationnow also attacks the "real fig". This is fertilized - and the fig wasp dies in it.

In short: If the fig wasp only provided the pollination service and then flew away again, the figs would be vegan. However, as the animals die in the fruit during the fertilization cycle and pollination would not be possible without the animal sacrifice, they are not, strictly speaking, vegan. Veganism compatible.

Are the fig wasps still found in the fruit?

Topic through? Think again! Because anyone who eats figs regularly knows that there are no wasps in the fruiting body. This is due to the fact that the Enzyme ficin decomposes the animals inside the fig. This information also provides new material for discussion on the question of whether these figs are vegan or not. After all, you are "only" eating the decomposition product of an animal.

However, the answer to the question is honestly quite clear to me: Without the death of the fig wasp, "real figs" and countless other fig varieties would not exist. The need for a dead animal to reproduce the fruit ultimately ensures that the tropical fruit has an animal origin in certain respects and is therefore not vegan. In the end, it no longer matters whether the wasp can still be found in the fruit or not.

Are there also vegan figs?

For the "real fig", the "buck fig" and incidentally also for the San Pedro fruit fig and the Smyrna fruit fig fig wasps have to die. But what about other fig species that grow in places where there are no suitable pollinators around, for example?

In fact, there are also some figs whose reproduction is not dependent on fertilization by fig wasps or other fig species. They belong to the superordinate concept of "Parthenocarpic figs". These include, for example, the pear-shaped variety Brown Turkey, which are even suitable for pots Dalmatia or the tasty fruits of the Negronne.

The corresponding fig trees can also be grown in your own garden, for example, sustainable garden plant - by the way, the ideal planting time is spring!

Are figs vegan? Unfortunately not always!

Figs are unfortunately not always vegan

As there is absolutely nothing about the fruit itself that indicates an animal origin, most people assume that figs are vegan. But on closer inspection, this assumption is seriously flawed, as the death of a fig wasp is essential for the fruit to reproduce.

Nevertheless, I must admit that this is not the exploitation of animals or Cruelty to animals is about. Accordingly, most vegans eat all types of figs, as we are at least to some extent in a gray area.

However, the definitive vegan fig alternative is to grow your own self-pollinating fig varieties in your own fruit and vegetable garden.

I hope I have been able to help you with this blog post. Do you have any questions, suggestions or other tips for vegan figs? Then I look forward to your comment!

Stay animal-friendly,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: There are also some surprising non-vegan additives in food and cosmetics that you should know. In the linked article I present them to you in combination with their E-numbers.

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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