Did you know figs technically aren’t vegan?
Living around here, and especially in this given day and age, we all know more and more foods that are vegan, but it’s a curveball to learn about something so reliably placed in the Fruits & Veggies brick in the food pyramid getting disqualified.
“How?” one may wonder aloud to the page of their favored printed newspaper.
It turns out, some species of wasp burrow into the fruit to lay their eggs inside. They proceed to lose their wings and antennae, then die up there and the fruit enzymes digest the wasp’s body and absorb it. Kind of freaky.
You know nature’s a cruel, uncaring mistress when one of your main predators is a fruit. One we use to make cookies for old people. (I’m kidding, of course. I love me some Fig Newtons. Shoutout!)
Still, it’s a paradigm shift, the thought of plants eating something with a heartbeat. It’s something we’d expect on an alien planet, or in an alternate universe. What’s next, camels that swim? Mushrooms that play chess? It’s madness!
Of course, carnivorous plants are nothing new. But that doesn’t make them any less cool. Venus Flytraps, Yellow Pitcher Plants, Australian Sundews and other meatless life forms, all with unpronounceable Latin names that make your vegan uncle tear out what malnourished hair he has left. The best part may be that we don’t even need to track down Sir David Attenborough to learn all about them—though his company, and fatherly voice, are always appreciated.
California Carnivores, a Sebastopol-based plant nursery that specializes in carnivorous plants, has already gone through the trouble of corralling these monstrous veggies together in one spot. Your succulents are cool, but a Cobra Lily has more game in its stem than that aloe plant has in its whole body. Virtual tours only at the moment, but plan your visit for when they reopen.—ED
California Carnivores, 2833 Old Gravenstein Hwy, Sebastopol. Currently closed to the public. 707.824.0433. www.californiacarnivores.com