Last October, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a late-night tweet pledging that he would “drop everything” to fix the company’s abomination of a cheeseburger emoji. At the time, the cheese on Google’s burger was underneath the meat patty, which is bafflingly wrong. A week later, an engineer at the company tweeted a picture of the cafeteria’s “Android Burgers,” which were all-beef patties, brioche buns, and goddang cheese slices underneath the meat.
If there’s that kind of correlation between a controversial emoji and what’s on the cafeteria menu, then Google employees will be served green salads topped with sliced eggs for the next several days.
Last week, Jennifer Daniel, a UX manager at Google, revealed that some of their emoji have been slightly modified for the upcoming Android P Beta 2 release. In a Twitter thread, she revealed that the newest version of the goat will be less homicidal looking, the turtle won’t look like it just ate a handful of Xanax, and redheads and balds will finally have emoji representation.
No one cared, because they were all losing their minds over a damn salad, and the fact that Google has opted to pick the eggs out of it. “There's big talk about inclusion and diversity at Google so if you need any evidence of Google is making this priority may I direct your attention to the [salad] emoji,” she wrote. “We've removed the egg in Android P beta 2, making this a more inclusive vegan salad.”
She was probably kidding—at least about it being an example of Google’s commitment to diversity—but not about the salad becoming vegan. Daniel further clarified that the salad’s update was actually to “create an image more faithful to Unicode's description,” which is “a bowl of healthy salad, containing lettuce, tomato, and other salad items such as cucumber."
The change was not well-received. “Are the people at Google cracking up? We completely understand that vegans choose not to eat eggs, but in the UK egg sales are up by almost 5 percent and many people love them, so it seems a shame for the majority to be missing out due to concern for offending one group," a British Egg Information Service spokesperson told The Register. “Eggs are the perfect salad accompaniment for non-vegans—full of protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as being delicious.”
And the Countryside Alliance—the organisation that stood up for a butcher who was being threatened by vegans—took its displeasure a step further. “It's utterly ridiculous that a company like Google is bending to the warped ideology of a tiny number of vegan activists,” Tim Bonner, the chief executive at the Alliance, told the Telegraph. “We entirely understand that some people don't want to eat meat or animal products but getting upset about the fact that other people might want to eat an egg is utter insanity.” (Piers Morgan and Dana Loesch also tweeted their disapproval, but who cares about them, tbh).
According to Emojipedia, Android is the only platform that puts an egg in its salad: Apple’s includes cucumbers and red onions, Samsung serves up lettuce and sliced peppers, and Facebook throws some black olives and croutons into its salad bowl.
Honestly, the only emoji I’ve used for the past year-plus is the facepalm. As long as Google doesn’t tinker with that one, we’re still cool.