When it comes to the list of foods that are non-vegan, the list can actually be a lot larger than you may think. Some fruits and vegetables even end up on the non-vegan list. Vegans always have to be on the lookout for products that they may mistakenly think are safe and accidentally end up eating an animal.
For example, there are certain beers that will use fish bladders as a filter. Or candies that are colored red will most likely contain a dye which is produced from beetles. And if you are unlucky your favorite burrito may be using beans that are fried in lard. But the most unlikely contender in the list is actually figs.
You may think that figs have no business at all of being on the list of non-vegan foods because they are so naturally non-animal. I mean they grow on a tree. Beer, candy or refried beans are not that surprising, we can all understand that when things are processed in a factory they may come in contact with meat or animal products. But figs, are pulled off a tree and are not usually processed before ending up on your plate. So where do they come into contact with an animal product?
You see the actual answer is that all figs can contain an animal product before you even pull it off the tree. The issue comes from the possibility of a female dead wasp being inside the fruit. While it is true that figs can always contain a dead female wasp, there is an enzyme in the fruit that breaks down the carcass completely so there is never a chance of actually finding a dead wasp in the fruit.
It is kind of like how bees pollinate flowers, figs digest the wasp for pollination reasons. This is why certain vegans will refuse to eat figs. It is kind of personal preference, at the end of the day, even though the wasp could be inside the fig – it has happened all following natural steps of mother nature.