Are Figs Vegan? – The one reason!
The controversy around the status of figs whether vegan or not is well stirred up.
Below is a snippet that shows a fluctuating but growing trend of raised concerns that made the vegans ask “are figs vegan?”.
Yes, definitely Figs are Vegan. This is because the way they develop is a naturally selected process, selected by the nature itself, and includes no human-derived cruelty on wasps. Moreover, Veganism is against human cruelty towards animals and promotes adherence towards nature. So how a vegan can go against this natural process and claim figs as non-vegan!
We will get into the nitty-gritty and provide you the alternatives if your conscience still doesn’t allow you to eat figs.
Does the vegan community accept figs?
There is a huge concern among the vegan community about figs being vegan-friendly.
While they are fruits, many vegans doubt them because of their developmental process.
Before getting into why figs are vegan, watch this 2-minute video to know how the figs grow?
It’s interesting to know that figs are initially inverted flowers, and these flowers bloom in the unripe fig-shaped fruit.
Finally, these flowers are ripe and convert into the type of food we enjoy. Like many other flowers, figs also require some insects to pollinate their flowers.
However, figs rely on wasps to reproduce. It goes like that both (figs and wasps) are dependent on each other for reproduction.
Even though many people think it’s just a myth that one of the figs in the garden has dead wasps in it, it’s very true.
They contain at least one wasp inside them.
These wasps are known explicitly as fig wasp because they especially pollinate the fig flower to create the fruit.
The pollination process works like a deal between the fig and the wasp.
Once the wasp enters the fig through a tiny opening of the flowers, they lay their eggs inside the plant, but they have to die.
The female wasp will break off her antennae and wings, which will result in her death shortly afterward.
This video will clear everything up
Call it a mother’s sacrifice or whatever, but this is how the figs’ pollination works. Once the eggs hatch, the male wasps fertilize the female wasps and chew their way out of the figs.
Similarly, once the female wasps are fully ready, they repeat the same process of laying eggs and pollinating as described above.
Since the above process involves the death of an animal, many vegan people think that it’s not authentic to eat figs.
Are figs classified vegan-friendly?
Based on the evidence mentioned above, we can see that figs look non-vegan.
However, the crunch we feel while eating figs doesn’t come from the bones of wasps. Instead, it’s the effect of the seeds.
The fig digests the dead bodies of wasps with the help of an enzyme.
Figs use an enzyme called ficin, which entirely breaks down the wasp’s body into a protein so that nothing remains.
Based on the above evidence, we can see that it’s a totally natural process and it’s not manipulated by farmers.
Both the organisms depend on each other for their continuous production, and it proves that there is no sign of animal cruelty or exploitation taking place.
Therefore, it’s totally safe to say that figs are vegan-friendly, and there’s no harm in consuming them.
To strengthen the argument, PETA also confirms in a tweet that figs are vegan-friendly fruits.
In some cases, like honey extraction, farmers manipulate the process, making it unnatural to produce honey.
However, fig formation is natural, and if there would be no figs, then there would be no wasps either. Both are interdependent for regeneration and reproduction.
Figs and Veganism
Fruits are necessary that play an important role in providing essential vitamins and nutrients for our body.
From infant to being old, every individual has a taste for fruits. Be it in natural form or in juice or processed form.
The majority of individuals are food lovers, and they consume them frequently for their taste and health benefits.
Among numerous fruit, figs are one of the fruits grown chiefly in a hot climate, mainly in the Middle East or the Mediterranean.
It’s an edible soft fruit that is green or purple. On the other hand, the inside layers are red, and the fruit is filled with seeds.
Figs are perishable items, and they have a honeylike taste which makes them perfect for people who crave sweet items.
It’s a fact that most fruits come from plants, and they probably would be vegan-friendly. However, it’s not the case with every fruit. Take the case of almond milk. Almond milk is sometimes considered to be not- vegan because even it is plant-based, its farming has consequences for the environment.
While figs are derived from plants, there is considerable concern among the vegan community about their content.
Hold on! Now I have established that in the process of the creation of figs, the death of wasp is a totally natural phenomenon so you should breathe a sigh of relief and savor them.
Below are the health benefits of figs and alternatives in case you still don’t want to eat them.
Health benefits of figs
According to researches, there are numerous benefits of figs. Some of them we’ll discuss are as follows:
- It can help to control glucose and even optimize insulin levels.
- It can help in improving skin health.
- They can keep our hair healthy because they are rich in iron. Iron is an essential mineral that can keep our hair healthy.
- Since the fruit has some laxative properties, it can help in curing digestive problems like constipation.
- Some Indian doctors use figs to treat several health problems like respiratory problems, digestive, reproductive issues and even help fortify our immune system.
Alternatives fruits to figs
Well, since figs are dried, you can eat almost any dried fruit in replacement to figs.
Some of the fruits that you can eat include apricots and raisins. Apricots are totally plant-based and vegan-friendly.
However, one thing you should look out for is the products that use figs as an ingredient.
Figs are commonly used to sweeten bakery items like cakes. However, they can contain eggs or another dairy item, which is obviously non-vegan.
Similarly, they are widely used to make jams that make use of gelatin. Gelatin comes from bones or animal skins, which renders them non-vegan.
Therefore, you must check the ingredients list before purchasing any product that uses figs as an ingredient.
It’s a high chance that it uses any product that might be against vegan standards.
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