Google removes egg from salad emoji, makes it vegan-friendly

The emoji redesign gives us "a more inclusive vegan salad."

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
3 min read

Half a hard-boiled egg is making quite a splash on the internet right now. 

Jennifer Daniel, UX-Art Manager of the Expression design team at Google , tweeted about a small tweak to Google's salad emoji for Android P Beta 2. She says there's big talk about inclusion and diversity at Google and points to the example of removing the egg from the emoji, "making this a more inclusive vegan salad."

Daniel's reference to inclusion ties in with scrutiny over the past year of Google's corporate culture and how its parent company, Alphabet, handles diversity and equal-pay issues. During Alphabet's annual shareholders meeting this week, some employees even publicly challenged the company to improve diversity in the workplace.

The salad change sparked quite a bit of Twitter chatter. "I'm offended by tomatoes, can you please make an emoji salad without them?" Twitter user Antonis Panayi asked.

Some vegans chimed in, with one Phil Rumney asking, "How did I ever cope seeing an emoji salad with an egg in it before Google made it more inclusive for me?!? Thanks Google for saving me from those dastardly eggs."

Some wondered how far this could go, with Twitter user jake asking, "When are y'all removing all dairy related emojis for the lactose intolerant people?"

Aaron Stewart took issue with a different design aspect of the emoji: "Meanwhile, those of us that only eat salad on plates are still being oppressed by this emoji." 

My Android phone is currently running 7.0, which gives me a salad emoji with tomatoes, greens and some unidentifiable yellow bits rather than an obvious egg half. You can see the short history of the green salad emoji at Emojipedia. It seems Google was the only company to tuck an egg into the mix.

Nobody seemed to get upset when that egg appeared in Android 8.0. One Twitter user acknowledges this, writing, "raise your hand if you didn't even realize the salad emoji had eggs in it." Speak the truth, my friend.

Daniel stepped back into the Twitter fray to deliver a deeper explanation of what's going on with the Case of the Disappearing Egg. "Just want to clarify that the goal of salad emoji redesign was to create an image more faithful to unicode's description," she writes. 

The unicode description reads, "A bowl of healthy salad, containing lettuce, tomato, and other salad items such as cucumber." There's no mention of an egg in there. 

The Twitter conversation seems to be more about the opportunity to drop jokes than actual outrage. There are plenty of meat, fruit and vegetable emojis available to keep everyone happy, no matter your dietary preferences. In fact, Android P Beta 2 brings quite a few developments on the emoji front, including 157 new emoji and the addition of gender-neutral options for family and couples emoji. 

In addition to the eggless salad, Daniel shared some lighthearted changes to other emoji, which will give us a friendlier goat, a happier turtle and a less-stressed-out version of the emoji with one big eye and one small eye.

The salad may be a little divisive, but I think we can all agree on that goat being much more approachable.

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