Monday, April 14, 2008

veganica grammatica: a modest proposal

Today, I want to write about a topic that is always in the back of my mind as a vegan and as a blogger. Lately, as I've been preparing to be interviewed by the wonderful Vegan Noodle on the Go Vegan Texas radio show (click here for more info-the show airs today, but you can download it and listen to it at any time!), and thinking more about how we communicate about veganism, it's come to the forefront. The question is, how do we refer to our food?

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

And what you see on my bagel? Well, that is the most delicious veggie cream cheese you will ever taste.

What do you guys say, are you with me?

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49 comments:

Celine said...

I'm witchoo.
and I can't wait to hear the interview thingie!

VeggieGirl said...

I'm with you, Bazu!! The vegan terms ARE the norm :0)

Looking forward to hearing the interview!!

magpie said...

I'm with you. The only way I ever change the name of something is by adding "fake" to the beginning - fake mayo, fake butter, etc... The only problem with calling these things their normal names is that non-vegans and non-vegetarians get confused. Well, I take that back, sometimes they are confused to begin with.

At dinner the other night, before all the dishes had come out:
roommate: "why aren't you eating anything?"
me: "it's all meat"
roommate: "no, there's chicken right there!"

Sigh.

bazu said...

Magpie, that quote from your roommate... I don't know whether to laugh or cry!

I know exactly what you mean, though, I'm sure all we vegans want to avoid confusion, and that's why we change up spellings, add "fake" or "faux" or "no" prefixes, or use quotation marks. But I want to rebel against this- our food is not fake! Let's reclaim all our words!

Example of a conversation with my brother (this was in good fun, but it gets the point accross):

bro: do you have any milk?
bazu: we have milk, just not dairy milk

why don't omnis have to qualify it every time they say something? Why can't I call my food "cheese" while they say "cow's cheese"?

Anonymous said...

Here in France the cheese tends to be named after the animal it is produced from or the place where it is made.

Personally, my view on all these matters is that the point is to communicate. Cream to me is the fat material present in cow's milk that rises to the top if you leave it to stand, but then I was raised in a ovolactovegetarian household in Scotland.

Here in France (where vegans are rare) it's crème. It depends who you're talking to, doesn't it? When it's the whole wide internet, clarity certainly demands the use of additional adjectives.

Mihl said...

I am with you. I think every time we cut out things like fake- or faux and quotation marks as well as different spellings we recognize our food as normal food and our way of life as normal, too.
I am totally exited about the interview and will download it!
P.S. I posted my sourdough entry :)

Urban Vegan said...

I try to call things by their rightful name. So I'm with the sour cream and milk, etc, but whenever people minimize vegan cuisine by calling, for example, "BBQ seitan" "mock BBQ chicken," that's where I draw the line. I think the quotes send a subliminal message that vegan food isn't as good as omni food. Of course, we know it's better ;)

Can't wait to hear your interview!

Yay for our Bazoo!

Urban Vegan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bazu said...

Thank you for your comments, everybody!

Urban Vegan, I agree with you. I think whether we do it, or others do it, re-naming stuff either intentionally or unintentionally has the effect of minimizing vegan food, making it at best an ersatz version of non-vegan food. Well, our food is as real, or MORE real than a lot of what's out there, so let's call it for what it is!

In fact, a lot of times, our gluttonous culture has taken what is essentially a vegan or near vegan food (the original pizza, for example), and bastardized it by adding tons of dairy to it- how come that pizza still deserves the normal label?...

Emmie said...

I don't know. I quite like saying the vegan name 'soygurt', 'ricemilk', 'vegan mayo'.. I feel that when I say milk, yoghurt and mayonnaise people might think I actually eat those NON vegan things and I want to make a statement when typing out recipes by specifically showing that these pancakes are indeed made with SOYmilk and not cow's milk. I guess if you're mostly around vegan and people that are vegan conscious it's different. They will know what you mean.

But I am certainly with you when it comes to wanting to not apologize or belittle vegan food. I want it to be the norm too!

Vegyogini said...

I'm definitely with you on the alternative spelling nonsense! It hurts my eyes and makes me cringe when I see something like "mylk." I don't have an issue using a qualifying adjective, such as "faux" in front of the word chicken or cheese, though. You're right that there is no reason for the dairy- and animal byproduct-laden versions of food should be considered normal while vegan versions are not. It is just food, after all.

Beazle said...

Yes! I had a slightly similar (nowhere near as thoughtful and eloquent though) thought about milk the other day. This post was wonderful and I'm totally with you! Yay!

SusanV said...

I agree with what Emmie wrote. If someone who doesn't know much about veganism comes onto my vegan blog and finds a recipe that calls for "milk," she's liable to take away the false notion that vegans drink cow's milk. I see nothing demeaning about using the proper names for things: soy milk, non-dairy milk, margarine, seitan sausage. They're not less than their non-vegan equivalents, just different.

Cutesy names are another thing altogether, and I think it's a matter of taste. I've been guilty of it, but I just have a problem writing "ribs" for my barbecued seitan--it's just a too-graphic, too body-part specific word, and I'd rather write "ribz" instead. So sue me. :-)

Finally, and I know this doesn't apply to you, Bazu, because your blog doesn't have ads, but I found out when I was using Google ads that they're keyed in to words on your blog; if I used the word "chicken," I'd get ads for chicken products, which I certainly didn't want. So if I referred to any kind of meat, I misspelled it so as to avoid the bad ads. I've gotten rid of Google ads now, so it's no longer an issue for me, but it's something to think about for vegan bloggers who use them.

Sorry to write a novel. Your posts always get me to thinking!

bazu said...

Thank you so much for your comment, Susan! I definitely agree with what you and Emmie have pointed out, and I have thought about the issue of ambiguity a lot. I have no issue with calling something what it is- soy milk, rice milk, oat milk, etc. What I have an issue with is the normative baggage that so many words have- milk comes to represent only one of dozens of meanings: dairy milk. I totally agree with what you guys say- I would hate it if someone thought that I was using meat or dairy, and will certainly speak or write as the situation demands. On my blog, however, where hopefully all readers know or realize that I cook and bake 100% vegan, I want to use the simplest and most approachable language possible, and that is why I want to cut down a lot of the alternative spellings and quotation marks, etc. Soy milk is good. Soy "milk" is where I draw the line!

Ooops, I guess I just wrote a novel too!

Foodeater said...

Yeah, the cutesy made-up words drive me nuts too. I'll generally indicate that something is "fake" or "faux" but that's usually as far as I'll go. Why would I want to eat something called "chreeze" or "chick-un"? Those sound even less appetizing than the real things!

Like Susan, I too have to be careful about what I write because of my contextual ads. If I use the word beef too many times on one page for example, I'll end up getting a bunch of ads showing up for real cow meat... so I do what I can to avoid having that happen (usually by hyphenating "fake-meat" or "soy-beef" etc).

You know what one made-up word I am most annoyed by? Sammich! Who the hell came up with that and why does everyone use it? Sorry my fellow blogger friends... I can't stand that silly word and every time any of you use it in your writings, it makes me cringe. It's not a sammich damn it, it's a sandwich!

The one thing I am guilty of is referring to nutritional yeast as nooch... but that's only because whenever I write out the word nutritional, I end up spelling it wrong :)

Kittee said...

Hey BazoOOo,
I always meant to go back to your post on the PPK to add my two cents, but since you're blogging about the subject, I'll give you my two cents here instead.

I understand where you're coming from by stating that eating alternatives to animal products is normal. It's important for people to understand that cheese, mayo and steak have delicious and healthful alternatives, eating animals isn't the be all end all and it's important for vegans to feel normal, to organize and to come together as a community so we do not feel so disenfranchised from society.

However, I believe that calling animal alternatives or analogs the same thing as the animal versions, does no service to the vegan movement (besides making us feel more comfortable). When I make a cream cheeze frosting for friends, and they ask me what it is. I want them to know it's not cream cheese, but cream cheeZe. If I don't emphasize the difference, they'll assume I'm making something with dairy, but I want them to know I'm making something delicious THAT IS NOT DAIRY. Does that make sense? I emphasize chick'n over chicken because I am not eating flesh and I am proud about that and want others to know there is a delicious alternative.

In the vegan community I understand that it's not necessary to differentiate, you say butter I use Earth Balance we both mean the same thing. But for me, I live mostly in an omnivorous world, communicating with folks that don't necessarily think or know about vegan alternatives, so I feel a need to clarify.

I hope this makes sense. You sounded great on Go Texas today.

xo
kittee

bazu said...

Thanks for your comment, Kittee. I agree with you- if I'm baking for friends or family, they will be hearing about the fact that all the ingredients are vegan, because I do want to plant the seed and reinforce the idea that we can make everything delicious without need for animal products. My post is not about obfuscating my veganism or my ingredients in any way. I just get the sense that certain neologisms just rub people the wrong way- maybe people, not knowing about vegan cuisine, would prefer "vegan grilled cheese" than "grilled chreese" or "grilled UNcheese" or something like that? Definitely something to keep thinking and talking about, though, so I appreciate your and everyones' comments.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the butter/margarine issue. What we use is definitely NOT butter. However, I hate calling Earth Balance margarine, even though that's what it is, because margarine has such negative connotations (hydrogenated fats, artificial/chemical ingredients, low quality, etc.) I usually just say Earth Balance because I hate the term butter and the term margarine!

madness rivera said...

Hi, well, I've been going through this a bit too; awkwardly trying on different ways to call things. Most recently I grappled with whether to label all my baked goods vegan like Vegan Apple Pie and Vegan Chocolate Cake. I feel that's a big DUH to my friends and me, but to echo other comments, I want absolutely no confusion on where I stand politically and nutritionally even if non-vegans put my baking into some cardboard-tasting category initially. I figure I can change that perception soon enough. I’ve decided not to shy away from what they are, vegan! I won't use just the word chicken, for example, if eating a soy equivalent. I ain’t eatin' chicken. I'm not the biggest fan of needing to replicate all things from the non-vegan world, but if those type of foods turns or keeps someone else vegan, I'm absolutely all for it. It's like wearing a fake fur, I guess, or fake leather, two things I'm not a big fan of either. I'm not going to say, let me put on my fur without the fake part, y'know?

I know what you're driving at and That is what I'm all for; that what we eat and how we live has no asterisk, but I think if a vegan is confident and comfortable calling their food WHATEVER they like to call it, then the asterisk fades away.

Great discussion!

madness rivera said...

Oh, I wanted to say too that I usually just use the word vegan in front of replicas because soy cheese and soy this and that and not necessarily vegan. OK, I'm done!

pleasantly plump vegan said...

i've always kinda hated the qualifying terms for our food, but i find it a hard thing not to do. its a really hard habit to break, but i will do my best.

Theresa said...

I agree with you on some level. Cutesy terms are not really that endearing. But I think I agree most with Urban Vegan--let's call things what they are, instead of masking them as something else. Rather than calling something Chicken or Chick'n, let's call it seitan or tempeh or tofu.

For the things in your photos, I prefer to clarify, not with quotes or cute monikers, but with simple adjectives--a main ingredient, a brand name, or a recipe name. So, I'm not just using sour cream, I'm using 'Almost Sour Cream' from Hot damn and hell yeah. And that cream cheese... what is it's base? (really, I'm curious.) I think those clarifications, while they separate vegan foods to some extent, are helpful to the rest of the vegan community as well as non-vegans, because we can know what brands are good or what ingredients are best, that sort of thing.

But I completely agree that quotes are unnecessary (though I find myself putting them in sometimes), cutesy terms should just die, and adjectives like 'cow' should be used.

Did you expect this post to get you so many novel-length quotes?

aTxVegn said...

I just like to call the products by whatever the company calls them. If they call it cheez or shreese or whatever, I don't care. It's not just vegans who can't have dairy so qualifiers are truly necessary in some instances. But when I talk about MY food, milk might be soy, almond or rice milk and everyone can be confident I'm using vegan versions.

BTW you were outstanding on the show today. I really enjoyed listening to you all.

Emmie said...

Hole schmoly I forgot to go listen to the show! It's a good thing I woke up an hour early today so I can do it now! Wooo

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

For the most part, the alternate spellings make me cringe. I'd rather call it seitan or even gluten instead of chicken, but that's me. I'm also not one to eat processed mock meats, so that typically eliminates that portion alternate names for me anyway. I've argued with people many times about the milk thing because it IS milk, made of soy. An omni would never deny that coconut milk is still milk & I typically use that as the eye opener. When I talk to vegans, I don't use any of the lingo- milk, cheese, butter- they get it. When talking to non-vegans, it varies. I tend to call certain things by their brand name like Earth Balance or Tofutti & when needed, I'll clarify that I mean vegan, as not to confuse people about my ethics. Like Danette, I have issues with naming baked goods. I like to tell people after they consume them that they're vegan, so there's no preconceived notions, but I also don't want vegans to miss out. Then again, we're a tight community & word of mouth is powerful! I don't typically feel I have to plaster VEGAN on something for the vegan troops to find out it's vegan & spread the word. We seek these things out!

It was great hearing you on the radio show today, my fellow globe trotting vegan blogger!

bazu said...

Thanks again for all your comments! I'm glad that this post is generating some good discussion. Just to clarify, I am not going to stop referring to my food as vegan, or for what it is (for example soy milk or tempeh bacon)- what I primarily have an issue with is the quotation marks, i.e. soy "milk" or sour "cream", or alternate spellings like "mylk".

Oh, and Theresa, that cream cheese is made with firm tofu, agar, and lots of veggies! It was a Melomeals tester recipe.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Such an interesting topic Bazu!! You never disappoint :-) I guess I never really thought much about this. I just kinda went along with the majority not really paying attention. But as you and others have mentioned, I hate "qualifying" my food, as if it's not as good. But I do see the point that we don't want to confuse people by calling things like seitan chicken. For that we should just use wheat gluten, seitan, etc. Cheese and milk and ice cream are different, I think soy products have equal rights to these words, but changing the public's perception might be tough.
All in all, I think this is one we will all continue to struggle with. Certainly on our own blogs we all have the right to call it whatever we want!
So glad so many people have listened to the show!! You were awesome Bazu!

Animal-Friendly said...

I downloaded and listened to the radio show yesterday and it was great!

I also sort of go through phases with alternate spellings for foods. For the most part though, I think that vegan foods should have their own names altogether. I certainly don't want to eat chicken- and I sort of feel weird eating something that calls itself such. But I do agree with you in that t vegan food IS normal food and should not be seen as some weird substitute.

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

I'm with you! All the way! I heard about this @ Vegan Noodle's and can't wait to download the show. Congrats, Bazu!

Luxusimmobilien said...

I love Vegan Noodle's.i also love you bazuu

Judy said...

I can understand the desire to differentiate from a meat eating culture, but as somewhat of a grammar snob, alternate spelling annoy the heck out of me. As far as I am concerned, cheese is not cheez.\

And btw, all those pics made me drool...

Dayna said...

I agree with you on two levels.

I have two different types of readers to my Vegan Visitor blog; the vegans and the visitors. I want people to understand vegan diets and to respect restrictions.

Although of course, every so often I still get chastised for recipes like "Tofu Ricotta"...

b36Kitchen said...

great post bazu. i hate when people use fake to describe what we eat. while at my parents for easter my mom kept calling everything i ate fake this or fake that. i nearly lost my mind and said it isn't fake! it's seitan, it's mayo, it's ....etc..etc..

i'm not pretending it's fake chicken so neither should anyone else.

i'll still say veganaise or soy milk. sometimes you'll even catch me say "wingz" simply because my brain isn't working and i can't think of what else to say. :)

Johanna3 said...

I'm with you, Bazu!! ,

The Voracious Vegan said...

I was JUST talking about this subject this morning at breakfast!

I say we take back those words!

I am so sick of always having to make sure I say: vegan butter, soy milk, soy cheese, vegan sausage, vegan mayonaisse, etc, etc.

And (gasp!) when I forget to put those little caveats in front of my words people flip out: "But I thought you were Vegan, how can you eat butter!?!?!"

Look people, any time I mention butter you can be assured I"m talking Earth Balance.

We shouldn't have to qualify what we are saying. Animal products are NOT food, it is NOT normal to eat them, therefore the only type of butter that should even be considered edible is vegan butter. Same goes for milk, cheese, sausage, burgers, etc.

Vegan Revolution!

Catherine said...

Hm . . . I guess I really don't care what you call it, as long as it tastes good! :)

P.S. The rest of my pictures from Haiti are up -- come see!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

I've been thinking about this. and for the record, I'm WITH you! and think all these things are normal, in fact, more than normal. They are what's right and good with food on so many levels.

My thing is this. I have young kids who are barely learning what the term vegetarian means. "we don't eat animals" and for them to see vegan corn dogs at home and to see the similar looking meat variety out and about, it make it super difficult to have the same word for each. It takes lots of conversations and explanations. "No, honey, this isn't a REALLY a chicken nugget. Remember, we don't eat chicken." Even though they call it a ch*kn nugget on the darn package. Am I making my point? For me, a label distinction is helpful in teaching my kids what we do & don't eat.

Bazu, I'd love to hear what your take on this!! :)

Congratulations on being on the radio show. Super COOL!! I had troubles downloading it, but ARt will help me tomorrow and I'll tune in. I'll be in So. CAL early May. ANy chance to hook up?

Gaia said...

Bazu, thank you for this topic!
Although I know what you mean, I have to say that I mostly agree with what Emmie, Susan and Kittee wrote because of the situation here.

I live in a province where vegans like me have to firstly de-confuse people about the meaning of vegetarianism, than go on to explain veganism! LOL

I don't like using the quotes though... I still do it, depending on where. But I reject the "Faux/fake-animal" altogether. Faux/fake just doesn't help send a positive image about veganism, I feel.

Anyway, I know I'm going to be thinking about this over the next few weeks.

madness rivera said...

I'm back. 'Cause I wanted to branch from what Vicki said about making the distinction with kids. My kids have eaten plenty of faux meat products at home and at the restaurants we eat so for them that is the norm. On Mina's (age 8) first day of school she decided to ditch her lunch and eat with her friends in the cafeteria. I said, "What did you have?" She says, "Sloppy Joes." It didn't occur to her that this was a non-veggie food having never heard of Sloppy Joes before. She was upset about that. Poor Mina!

Rachael said...

I agree...the cutesy words are annoying. With other veg*ns or veg*n-friendly company, I don't see an issue with it (we joke around about cheez a lot here...) but I think it can predispose non-veg*ns to being suspicious of the food. Ive been trying to catch myself when I use terms like that for vegan food that I serve to mixed company or when I stick "vegan" in front of the name, no matter what it is. If the food is allowed to stand on its own, most people won't question it and then you can surprise them later when they ask you about it and they find out its vegan.

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

WOO! This is a hot topic indeed, just like over at PPK.

My 2 cents... From experience, in the distant blogging past, when I mentioned something on my blog without specifying that it's vegan: saying "I topped the tacos with sour cream" I'll get a bunch of comments from vegans saying "Vegans don't eat sour cream" and from non-vegns saying "Oh wow, I didn't know you ate sour cream as a vegan..." and then I have to explain that EVERYTHING on my blog is vegan.
So then, I tend to OVERcompensate most times by using quotes AND cutesy names which, I realize, is utterly redundant.

Vegan milk or cream or meat IS different but it can still be normal - because "normal" food is different from individual to individual. I'm not sure what the best approach is but don't want to mislead someone who naievely happens upon my blog thru a random Google search either.

Nice post, as always. Carry on.

bazu said...

That's a really good point- I had not considered the importance of helping kids distinguish the difference between vegan and non-vegan! I had made the mistake of assuming that everyone had an equal level of knowledge, which obviously is not the case. I think a compromise might be in order- we specify "vegan" or "vegetarian" and type of food "soy/almond/rice/oat milk" etc., but we do away with the word fake, faux, mock, and those dreaded quotation marks! Does that sound more reasonable to everybody?

And it goes without saying, thank you to everyone for this on-going and fruitful discussion!

dreamy said...

I am ok with the mayonnaise etc too, but when it comes to chicken etc, sometimes i do feel a lil uncomfortable.

stonielove said...

oy i missed a good chat about this topic. i don't use those made-up words because i find it confusing!

Jackie said...

LOL life is sooo much simpler here with so few Vegan substitutes. All I have to look for or spell is soy milk, tofu or veggie burgers/sausages. Everything else has to be made from scratch.

Actually I doubt I could eat something like tofurky as it would make me upset thinking about real turkeys....much happier eating burgers or sausages that do not look or taste like an animal.

Will download the discussion as it will be interesting.

Peggy the Veggie said...

I most definitely agree with you! All the silly 'mylk', 'cheeze', and 'chik'n' spellings don't do anything but annoy me.

Sometimes, though, I do find myself having to qualify the food I make as vegan. Like, just yesterday, I was talking about a chocolate cake I made with chocolate buttercream icing. A friend of mine then became confused ("But I thought that vegans couldn't eat butter OR cream!!") so I had to explain that this was VEGAN buttercream icing.

But yes, I'm with you!

Melody Polakow said...

Yes, I am with you!

I have been meaning to listen to your interview... but keep forgetting! Tonight or tomorrow night I will definitely do that!

SaraJane said...

Wow. Lots of comments on this one! Personally, I'm completely turned off by the spelling changes. I actually got really annoyed by a raw cookbook that I bought partially because I didn't like seeing words like "mylk" and "cheez". To me it just looks like chatspeak taking over and brings to mind the uneducated people that can't spell and use 's as a plural. Like fingernails on a chalkboard, i tell ya.

Liz² said...

I'm absolutely in agreement, I wish I'd been around the ppk for the discussion! I think the only time I'm tempted to segregate or super-define the vegan words is for the benefit of first-time blog visitors. And that's just because my blog isn't *explicitly* vegan at first glance (something I want to fix soon I think). But it's definitely weird putting quotations on what is essentially just food - it's like we're apologizing for it, or admitting that it's less, which isn't the case. And you know what really gets me? Mylk. Ewwwww! Couldn't make a less appetizing word, I'm sure.

textual bulldog said...

I find that it depends on the context which words I use and how I spell them. Viz: I never write "milk" or--eep--mylk, which is horrible. My reasoning is that milk is a category of food that includes things like nuts milks and dairy milks, no need to veganize it or explain. With cheeses, if it's in the title--e.g. cashew cheese--then I'll spell it normally, but if I worry that a vegan novice might be confused, sometimes I'll write cheeze. I remember the days when I really relied on spelling to clue me in to the fact that something was or was not vegan, and I found it really hard to trust that something using the normal spelling of cheese and not screaming vegan in some way was, in fact, vegan--even when I was AT a vegan restaurant or whatever.

As for the meat thing, I will never say that I eat "chicken" or "beef." I can see expanding the categories of milk and cheese, but to me, chicken means flesh from the animal, and beef means flesh from the animal. And that's just sick to me. So, I am definitely attached to calling things mock or faux chicken, or the simpler chick'n, or what have you. I think if it's the crazy spellings that bother a person, they may as well just go with calling the thing seitan or wheat meat or whatever and leave the chicken part out entirely. No one says we have to compare our foods to omni stuff all the time.

So, I guess I'm saying I'm with you on milk and cheese, but can't hang when it comes to calling meat analogues the same word as the meat. Does that make any sense?