I eat figs... am I not vegan?

betiPT

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I just got told, by a non vegan, that because I eat figs from my fig tree that I am not vegan because it’s full of wasps.

Your thoughts?
 

SapphireLightning

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There is no exploitation of any sentient beings involved. The wasp climbs in to the nascent fig as part of their normal life cycle, and dies there. Hoomans and other animals come along and eat the fig. This one is a "no harm, no foul" situation. Just like how we could rely on native bees (and even set up tree stands for native bees to set up shop) to pollinate cucumbers and other fruit. It doesn't make it un-vegan as there is no exploitation nor harm, the bees in that case get to do what they want without molestation, and we get the fruit.
 
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Blissful

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(Hey SapphireLightning , absolutely love your signature ..!)

Whenever l hear an absurd comment like this from a non-vegan , l just say something like this - " Really ? Is that so? "
I am sure most of us inhale or accidentally swallow tiny insects , either in the air ,or on, or in fruit or vegetables .. and we must all accidentally crush ants and other insects too , when we walk and drive around ..

Just ignore these types of comments - you know in your heart you are living your Truth - what happens accidentally , just because we are alive on the planet , can not be helped ..

There were some extreme spiritual people , apparently , who ate nothing and did not move from their rooms , for fear of accidentally harming another being .. Well - do you know the end result ? They are no longer on the planet ..

It's not about having no impact - it's about your intentions , your inner Truth , and minimal impact ..

Sending you a very big hug - enjoy those figs ! xxoo
 
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Damo

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I just got told, by a non vegan, that because I eat figs from my fig tree that I am not vegan because it’s full of wasps.

Your thoughts?

I have been told that avocado's aren't vegan therefore I'm not, to be fair I really don't care what I'm labelled as long as it comes from a tree/plant it's fair game. (trying to reduce palm oil though, but everything is going to have some impact on the environment/life)

My thoughts? We need a better eye roll emoji. :rolleyes:
Abracadabra! We now have emoji support, meaning emojis from your iPhone/Android phone, Windows/MacOS will appear on the forum. ???
 

Jamie in Chile

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If you were eating figs growing naturally in a forest they would clearly be vegan. There are valid questions about whether some commercially produced plant foods are vegan but you can still eat them and call yourself vegan.

What I suggest you reply to your friend is something like: "Vegan is a philosophy of reducing harm. While it's true that some commercial plant foods can cause harm to animals, it's far less than if you eat animals directly. No-one can reduce their negative impacts to zero, we each have to try and do the best we can and respect each other's decisions."
 

TofuRobot

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I could have sworn that Mic the Vegan had a video about this but I can't find it now (maybe he took it down?). But seriously... A. Not all figs will have a wasp - only certain varieties (and I'm not clear on which varieties those are or whether or not those affect the ones that you'd locally be purchasing to eat); B. Even if there were a wasp in the fig, by the time it gets to you (or you pick it), you're not going to be biting down on a wasp - it gets broken down. ...A wasp is a natural part of the pollination of the figs... And I'm sure you've eaten at least a handful of bugs in your life if you've ever eaten vegetables - that's what the critters eat (ever had a garden?). I mean - by this logic, no one would be vegan since there is some ridiculous number of spiders/bugs that we consume due to the fact that they crawl in and out of our orifices while we are sleeping (google it if you want to be creeped out).

HHV has a video on it:

TLDR: Eat the figs. You're still vegan.

PS: @Damo - YAY for the emoji support!!! Thank you! :D :D :D
 

Lou

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And another discussion that just popped up in my news feed (dang those internet spies!):


That was a good article and it helped me focus on the issues. I never heard the thing about figs and wasps before so it was good to get a good summary of it without a lot of distracting info.

I was never a big fig eater before but just like almonds and avocados, I'm going to think twice before I buy some figs.

Damo said that we have emoji support. Let's see what I got.

??
 

Forest Nymph

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This is a common diversionary tactic in meat eaters who would like to throw red herrings at you instead of have a rational conversation like an adult. The type usually also offers such gems as "but what about all of the rodents being killed when you eat soy or grains" and "there is no way to be alive and not kill anything!"

Well, no ****, Sherlock.

Veganism proposes to do the least harm. One time this semester during an outdoor lab on ruderal species, I accidentally murdered a snail, and I felt terrible, I just stepped on the poor thing. One of my friends/classmates even commented "wow the vegan is the one who killed the snail." He meant it as a gentle joke, but I really felt TERRIBLE.

I'm one of those people who allows skeeter eaters to crawl on me when I'm sunning myself on the grass on the campus lawn, and who tries to capture insects and worms and put them outdoors (unless they're spiders near my bed, then I'm sorry, it's over, guys).

People who talk about wasps in fig trees or about animals incidentally harmed in avocado or almond production don't even want to begin to calculate the mass death involved in doing nothing more than buying the cheapest animal products at a chain grocery store, nor do they want to think about how much more water in California is diverted to cattle than to almond production. In fact when someone is still talking about almonds, I literally have to grit my teeth.

Are there legitimate concerns? Oh sure. Legitimate concerns include things like if your palm oil was sustainably sourced (this is a real problem with deforestation and is also affecting primates not rodents or insects) and if you're recycling your packaging as a vegan. I'm honestly troubled by vegans continuing to drink single-use bottled waters instead of tap water (Brita filters work just fine in places like LA or the Bay Area, though I can drink straight from the tap in NorCal) because it's one of those things that is overlooked. I'm not one to be giving up my Tofurky any time soon (it's coming from Oregon anyway I'm not really disturbed by that distance) but on the other hand I'm not really comfortable with drinking wine from Australia as I once was.

The grad student selected to be my "peer mentor" next semester is actually looking at the sustainability of wine in California. It's a real eye-opener to me as someone who enjoys wine. I principally try to drink California wines across the board (not difficult, many of the cheapest table reds are CA wines) but didn't know how much damage and water use is affecting places such as Napa. Does this have anything to do with veganism? Why yes it does. Wildlife are animals too, and I've slowly but surely become more and more aware of water.

We can do what we can. Usually the people who will call you out with things like figs are people still eating cow flesh sandwiches from mega-corp fast food chains. They don't deserve your energy.
 

Blissful

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Where l grew up , in Melbourne , Victoria , Australia , we had a big fig tree in the backyard , and as kids we gorged on them when they were ripe .. Even as a young child l was very sensitive about accidentally hurting /killing things ( would have been vegan at 5 if l knew what that was) and so l'm sure l would have noticed insects going into my mouth .. We didn't have European wasps in Australia in the 1960's , and no native wasps in the suburbs ...

So , lovely ones , can someone tell me - are you talking about European wasps or native ones ? Just curious - it doesn't make any difference to the above discussion ..
( European wasps are another big environmental issue in Aus -displacing and killing our native wasps and other native insects - but that's another story)

Thank you , big hugs from Blissful xo
 
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TofuRobot

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One time this semester during an outdoor lab on ruderal species, I accidentally murdered a snail, and I felt terrible, I just stepped on the poor thing. One of my friends/classmates even commented "wow the vegan is the one who killed the snail." He meant it as a gentle joke, but I really felt TERRIBLE.
My dad used to step on them on purpose ?
I always rid them back into the bushes when I find one... So sorry ?
 
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Jamie in Chile

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Once some years ago I put down a tub of pringles on the floor in a forest, after a while I picked them up and starting eating them, ate quite a number, was vaguely aware that they tasted quite crunchy and then I saw them crawling across the tub and my hand and all of a sudden it dawned on me that I was eating live ants. That was quite a shock.