When I published my first recipe book I decided to really embrace the word vegan in it - to give voice to the whole lifestyle aspect of compassion. It was a dilemma. I sat with it for months. Now, I feel that it was limiting. The vegan community in the UK felt as if it wasn't too interested in my book (whereas the health/yoga/conscious community is VERY interested).
I am about to publish my second book and have chosen to use the word plant-based much more instead of vegan. It feels counter-productive to me to use the word if I don't have much support from the 'vegan' community. It feels better for me to inspire those communities that embrace my work. The word plant-based feels much less threatening to people who feel negatively about the term vegan. It means that more people are willing to explore and end up interested in the ethical side anyway.
On the other hand, I've been a vegan for 21 years and have seen in that time that the VEGAN word has become much more acceptable. I guess it's a totally individual thing and will work differently depending on what your focus is on. My focus is actually on health and raising consciousness - so I am coming to the conclusion that it works better for me to generally use the word 'plant-based'.
Thanks for opening up an interesting discussion.