Do you call yourself a vegan? Doing so can be helpful at times to let someone know that you are avoiding animal products.
But the problem is that it also tricks us into thinking that's the main focus of our diet as well. The word vegan tricks us, and it tells others nothing about the fact that our is a whole foods plant-based diet and not a diet of manufactured and processed foods.
Many restaurants that bill themselves as vegan restaurants often use highly processed foods like textured vegetable protein, soy protein isolate, fake meats and fake cheeses, etc. This may be fine if your only reason for eating vegan is ethical. But it's not fine if you're trying to follow a healthy, low fat, whole foods, plant-based lifestyle. That's entirely different from what the word "vegan" says to people.
So, while the word "vegan" is good shorthand for "I don't eat meat," it's not good shorthand for a healthy WFPB diet. The whole foods, plant-based diet requires broader thinking. It requires thinking about not just avoiding animal products, but also avoiding added sugars, oils and salt. It requires thinking about eating whole foods, and not thinking that manufactured or processed foods are okay just because they don't contain meat. And it means making our meals plant-centric. In other words, instead of thinking "I'm not going to eat meat," think "I'm going to eat 100% plants." It gives a different frame of mind.
The word "vegan" is a starting point. But it's not the finish line. It's only one aspect of our diet.