Jennifer Daniel, UX-Art Manager of the Expression design team at Google, tweeted about the change earlier this week. “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 emoji— we've removed the egg in Android P beta 2, making this a more inclusive vegan salad,” she wrote.
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 emoji— we've removed the egg in Android P beta 2, making this a more inclusive vegan salad. pic.twitter.com/kzHY0A9ZjG— Jennifer ️ (@jenniferdaniel) 6 June 2018
It should come as no surprise at all to learn that several internet users expressed their dismay at the change. Comments in the thread include explanations of how healthy/unhealthy eggs are, why this is offensive to non-vegans and people allergic to tomatoes, world hunger issues (?), and questions over whether this is a parody account.
Daniel later clarified that the decision to change the emoji was to create an image more faithful to Unicode's description: A bowl of healthy salad, containing lettuce, tomato, and other salad items such as cucumber. This in turn led to several people noting that cucumbers seem to be missing from the new emoji—maybe this is to appease cucumber haters?
The British Egg Industry Council was particularly unimpressed. “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 spokesperson for the British Egg Information Service told The Register.
Back in April, both Google and Microsoft followed in the footsteps of Apple, Samsung, and Twitter by swapping their gun emojis for water pistols, a move they claim was to eliminate any cross-platform confusion.
Many of Google’s other emoji are also getting minor makeovers. Daniel showed how the goat no longer resembles one summoned from hell, the turtle doesn’t look so stoned, and the face is more goofy and less like someone having a stroke.
We're slowly giving some our emojis more love. Our goat is no longer so angry. The turtle really needed a hug. And we gave the Grinning Face With One Large and One Small Eye some anti-anxiety meds. pic.twitter.com/HUKQe0EeAs— Jennifer ️ (@jenniferdaniel) 6 June 2018