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Lightlife Sponsors North American Vegetarian Society's Meat-Free Pledge During Vegetarian Awareness Month this October

Sponsorship Comes on the Heels of New Stop-Animation Film from LAIKA/house that Offers Inspiration for Those Who Want to Eat Less Meat

TURNERS FALLS, Mass., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With more Americans taking part in the Meatless Mondays trend, as well as a recent British Medical Journal study showing that reducing meat consumption could shrink the carbon footprint by 30 million tons a year and reduce chronic disease risk up to 12 percent, many are rethinking their meat intake and the impact it has on themselves, their families and the planet.

In celebration of Vegetarian Awareness Month, which kicks off with World Vegetarian Day on Oct 1st, Lightlife, one of the original purveyors of meat alternatives in the U.S., is sponsoring the North American Vegetarian Society's pledge to get Americans to eat meat-free for a day, a week or even the whole month. Throughout October, non-vegetarians are encouraged to visit the World Vegetarian Day page to pledge their commitment to eat meat-free. Non-vegetarians who pledge to abstain from all meat will be entered in a random drawing for cash prizes.

"We know that switching to a vegetarian lifestyle can be daunting for some and this partnership and pledge celebrates both the big and small steps we can take to eat less meat," said Raquelle Hunter, Lightlife brand director. "And we'll continue to help people on this journey by offering delicious vegetarian food that can be enjoyed by our vegetarian fans as well as flexitarians who do eat meat but are trying to eat less."

Nearly half of Americans say that they want to eat less meat[i], but many of them simply don't know how to start. To provide some inspiration and welcome Americans to vegetarian cuisine, Lightlife worked with Venables Bell & Partners and renowned animation house, LAIKA/house, to create a stop-animation film that brings the vegetable world to life. In the piece, a child's voice sings the classic nursery rhyme "Old Macdonald Had a Farm," but with a twist: the cows, chickens, pigs, and other mainstays of farm life on this Lightlife Vegetable Ranch are all constructed of the crisp, beautiful vegetables that are a cornerstone of vegetarian cuisine.

In addition to inspiration from the film, Lightlife is working with Mandy Ingber, the creator of Yogalosophy and celebrity yoga instructor whose roster includes Jennifer Aniston, Kate Beckinsale and Brooke Shields among others, to help people make the meat-free switch. "Eating less meat benefits your health, the environment and actually gives you more choices," said Ingber. "The change of seasons is the optimal time to change your diet and Lightlife makes it easier than ever with their delicious menu of options perfect for vegetarians and those who are considering going meatless."

Ingber offers these tips for going meat-free with ease for Vegetarian Awareness Month:

EAT A SALAD EVERY DAY. Make your lunchtime meal a large hearty salad loaded with healthy delicious greens and chock full of colorful veggies, avocado, nuts and seeds.

BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS. Try a new meatless recipe once a week, like grilling hearty veggies like eggplant, zucchini and red peppers.

FUEL UP WITH PLANT BASED PROTEIN. Lightlife offers a full menu of vegetarian options for those who want to go meatless but still get their daily protein intake. They've recently added veggie burgers and vegetarian entrees that are a good source of whole grains and plant-based protein that cook just like a regular burger or dish. They make it so easy for those just starting to eat less meat.

Frozen Vegetarian Burgers – Good source of protein (at 14 grams per serving) plus 25 percent bigger than the leading veggie burger brand. Varieties include: Backyard Grill'n Burger, Kick'n Black Bean Burger, Farmer's Market Veggie Burger and Mellow Portobello Mushroom Burger. (Suggested retail price: pack of 4 for $4.29).

Vegetarian Frozen Meals – Offering at least 15 grams of protein per serving and in delicious flavors like Amaz'n Asian Sesame Chick'n, Perfecto Penne Primavera with Meatless Crumbles, Ole Santa Fe Chick'n, and Bella Portabella Tuscan Chick'n. (Suggested retail price: $3.99).

October will also be the culmination of Lightlife's seven-city U.S. tour to show Americans that a veggie lifestyle can be simple, delicious and good for the planet. The final two stops include the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival (Oct. 13-14, 2012) in Half Moon Bay, CA and the Head of the Charles Regatta (Oct. 20-21, 2012) in Boston, MA. The tour began in early summer and has introduced thousands of Americans to veggie cuisine from Lightlife, including the new veggie burgers. The Lightlife Facebook page has the latest details on the tour. For more information on recipe ideas, the latest offerings and the benefits of eating veggie with tips for going meat-free, check out www.lightlife.com.

About Mandy Ingber
Mandy Ingber, the creator of Yogalosophy, is a fitness and wellness expert, speaker, producer, instructor, and author who first gained popularity with her sold-out yoga and spinning classes in Los Angeles. For over 16 years she has motivated people with her light-hearted approach and unique teaching style. Mandy's public appeal grew as a celebrity yoga instructor when she did a spread in SELF magazine in 2006 with client Jennifer Aniston. Other clients include Kate Beckinsale, Jennifer Lawrence, Ricki Lake, Brooke Shields, jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer, and Helen Hunt, who gave her credit on the red carpet for getting her body "Oscar-ready." Her book Yogalosophy 28-Day Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover (Seal Press) is slated for April 2013.

About Lightlife
Founded in 1979, Lightlife is based in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, and is one of the pioneers of vegetarian foods options. Lightlife is the leading brand of refrigerated meat alternatives, with well-known products such as Smart Dogs®, Gimme Lean®, Smart Deli®, Smart Bacon®, Smart Ground®, Smart Sausages®, Smart Wings®, Smart Tenders®, and Organic Tempeh and is expanding into the frozen category veggie burgers and meatless entrees. From vegetarian hot wings and delicious vegetarian hot dogs to vegan recipes, Lightlife is committed to not only tasting good, but also doing good. Since the beginning, five percent of Lightlife's net profits have gone to supporting the earth and healthy lifestyles, a commitment that Lightlife continues today. Please visit Lightlife at www.Lightlife.com on Facebook or Twitter, @Lightlife.

About LAIKA/house
LAIKA/house is a world-renowned animated commercial content studio acclaimed for its skills in storytelling and character performance in all mediums, including CG, stop-motion, 2D and mixed media. Located in Portland, Ore., the studio, owned by Nike co-founder and Chairman Philip H. Knight, has a 30-year animation history of presenting the artistry of award-winning projects including two highly successful feature films. The studio's first stop-motion movie, Coraline, was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature, and the second feature, ParaNorman, was released in August to critical acclaim.

[i] USA Today, 2012

Website: www.lightlife.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Lightlife
Twitter: @Lightlife

SOURCE Lightlife