We’ve been waiting for “the new 250 emojis” for like 10 years now and there’s still no sign of them arriving. It’s like the Azealia Banks album all over again, and it’ll probably be just as underwhelming considering the list has already been released and the distinct absence of underwear, avocado, and burrito emojis remains despite the introduction of two different colors of floppy disc, five different types of pen, and the back of an envelope. But, as always, we can count on Lil B to bring us light in a world otherwise full of darkness and disappointment.
Lil B, friend of the earth and 1.1M Twitter users, has teamed up with a vegan company called Follow Your Heart to create a range of cruelty-free emojis dubbed “vegEMOJI.” Featuring everything from Veganaise (that’s vegan mayo, you basics) to a slice of cheese (presumably dairy-free) doing a winky face to a variety of speech bubbles containing messages like “meet me at the farmer’s market,” it’s basically the next logical step from the life affirming “Basedemoji,” which was mostly illustrations of The BasedGod smiling and telling kids to stay in school.
As an actual real life vegan myself, my first response was YES, finally I can communicate with my friends without being restricted to the language of the current emoji buffet, which includes but is not limited to: chicken legs, frying eggs, and a fish literally dangling from a rod. Yeah, there are fruit and vegetable emojis aplenty, but I think it’s widely accepted at this point that almost every single one of them has been soiled by sexting (here’s looking at you, eggplant).
I decided to download the app and explore this new world brimming with potential vegan texting and sexting. I noticed it didn’t have any reviews yet, which is useless, so I stepped up and wrote the world’s first comprehensive guide to vegEMOJI.
Lil B or “The BasedGod” is a cultural phenomenon who has released over 80 mixtapes and once cried in a pet shop on a video shoot because he was overwhelmed by a profound love of everything. “Veganism” is the practise of abstaining from using/consuming animal products because the idea of eating another sentient being feels, to you, like taking a bite out of your grandmother and that is gross. Emojis are little illustrations of stuff that live on your phone. Put the three together and that is literally vegEMOJI.
Social Media Links: They all lead to Follow Your Heart, because Lil B’s philosophy is all about putting the needs of others before your own. Lil B has a based army of one million people on Twitter. Follow Your Heart has 46 Instragram followers. You do the math.
Store Locator: This bit helps you find your local Follow Your Heart store, which presumably sells a lot of Veganaise. Although they all exist in and around Canoga Park, California so tough shit for those who live further afield for example in London.
I mean the first obstacle here is the fact that, like Basedemoji before it, you can’t add vegEMOJI as a keyboard. You have to go into the app, select your emoji, choose whether you want to send it as a message or an email, and then select who you want to send it to. Considering most of us get bored swiping through the pages of the standard emoji keyboard, this is a right ballache. But whatever, I thought, people suffer worse inconveniences every day probably. I tried texting my friend Saam—an emoji pro and fellow vegan—to see how easy it would be to try to hook up using vegEMOJI.
10/10 would emoji again.
So vegEMOJI may not work perfectly, but who really cares? This app proves that Lil B, as always, is operating decades ahead of society. Until today, I had never sent a cheese emoji that was explicitly dairy-free and it changed my whole way of communicating, kind of.
Follow Emma Garland on Twitter.