I've had many "light bulb" moments go off throughout my life, but it took personal experiences to bridge the gaps that weren't being bridged.
At 12 I found out ribs were from cows, I freaked out and stopped eating it for a while.
This didn't stick and I fell into old ways.
At 15, I went through a bout of not eating shrimp because I watched it being killed and served alive at a sushi restaurant. This didn't stick and I fell into old ways.
At 17, I stopped drinking milk. I became turned off by what I was actually consuming.
I stopped eating red meat after the mad cow disease hysteria. Light bulb. That stuck and I didn't fall back into old ways. For some reason, my understanding there couldn't be ignored.
Much of my journey has been health first and for the animals later. For others it's vice versa. I believe that to each their own and that your path is a no judgement zone.
At 22, I went vegan after reading "Skinny Bitch" and "Omnivore's Dilemma". It didn't stick for long, but the takeaways from the book still lingered in the back of my mind.
I slowed down eating cheese at 26 due to congestion and sluggishness.
At this point my consumption, in general, started to change due to my environment, my involvement in the yoga community, my thirst for a deeper understanding, my quest for a healthier mind and body and because I knew deep down that our trust was misplaced. That what we were being fed by the media, by big companies, and the FDA were not correct.
It's not easy to make "drastic" changes against societal norms. Friends, family, work, significant others can't always grasp your new found understanding of the world and what IT and you need; but doing right by you and staying strong will open up another world you never knew was there.
At this point, I was primarily eating "kleaner", but not completely plant-based.
I went plant-based before a yoga training retreat at 28 and I wasn't sure it was going to stick. On the retreat we watched Earthlings and that was my last light bulb.
Klean-Slate was created two months after that.
My connection to being vegan (including not buying clothes, bags, makeup, etc) was made.
I've been on a journey I had no idea was in the cards and I've become a part of a community I didn't know existed.
From a girl who grew up in a world where societally it didn't make sense to go against the norm–to question where food comes from and how leather jackets and Louis Vuitton bags are made, to one that feels empowered by her knowledge makes me know that everyone has the power to change.
We control our own actions.