I posted this question on the PPK forums a couple of months ago:
"What do you guys think of alternative spellings for food? Do you drink mylk or milk? Do you eat chicken or chykyn? Wings or wingz? Cheese or cheez? Soy milk or soy "milk"?
I always use the traditional spelling for foods, my reasoning being that vegan food is normal food, no need to segregate it. I have no problem eating chicken (something protein-y that tastes a certain way and has a certain texture), I have problems eating actual chickens that were once living! Does that make sense? Our frozen desserts are ice cream, too. If it was all about ingredients, I don't see why a non-vegan ice cream or mayonnaise with lots of fillers and artificial ingredients and very little of the "traditional" ingredients (how many ice creams or mayonnaises actually contain egg yolks, for example? alternately, how many of them, like their vegan counterparts, contain things like soybean oil?) can have traditional names, while we can't.
I'm not being humorless, I think some vegan names are really witty and cute (dulce sin leche, veganaise, etc.) but in general, I don't have a good reaction to alternative spellings and I don't think the population at large does, either. I alternate between being bemused and turned off."
As you can see by the responses to this question on the PPK, the majority of vegans agree that alternative spellings can range from annoyingly cutesy to downright annoying. Even worse, several people talked about the constant use of quotation marks as being very distracting when reading food descriptions or recipes. As a vegan, a blogger, a teacher, and a student of rhetoric, I think that what we write communicates a lot about what we eat and represents us as individuals and as a community. I believe that our food is as real as any other food, so there is no reason to segregate ourselves rhetorically or sacrifice our grammar. I already practice this for the most part, but from now on, I pledge to use regular food terms when describing food (mine or any other vegan food) or writing recipes. I have put a disclaimer in my sidebar to this effect. This will help our food prove that it is what we all know it to be: normal, straightforward, tasty, and within reach.
From now on...
the soy milk that I foam and put in my latte IS normal milk
The dollop of Tofutti sour cream on my baked potatoes IS normal sour cream
The vegannaise in the dressing for my slaw IS normal mayonnaise
What do you guys say, are you with me?