No more McNuggets? Emergency!

It's a truism that we get set in our eating patterns and can behave irrationally when called upon to give up, even temporarily, a certain beloved food item. Case in point: A woman in Florida was cited by police for calling 911 three times over her local McDonald's running out of McNuggets.

No, really. That's the McNugget of the situation, anyway: The fuller story is that Latreasa Goodman had already paid and couldn't get her money back, as the restaurant offered her, instead, larger quantities of different menu items. But Goodman wanted McNuggets, and in her words, "my McNuggets are an emergency," hence the repeated 911 calls.

Granted, this is a wacky, one-of-a-kind story, and it could be written off as a cautionary tale to learn about our new non-emergency 311 system - but it fits into a larger dynamic: People who eat McNuggets, Egg McMuffins, McDoubles and other animal products are slowly having to deal with the increasing piles of scientific data showing that their over-consumption of animal products is a prime cause of greenhouse gases. (The latest study shows that even sticking to a completely organic diet, a meat-eater causes seven times as much greenhouse gas as a vegan who doesn't eat organic at all.) Up to now these facts haven't gotten as much attention as our problem with fossil fuel (though the UN notes that livestock production creates more greenhouse gas than all of human transport), but they're getting harder to ignore as hospitals, governments and NGOs begin changing their policies to reflect this reality.

For now, a steady reduction in personal consumption of animal foods is an obvious step for anyone who's trying to "go green." Granted, somewhere down the line this could mean that McNuggets are out of stock permanently, and I'm sure Latreasa Goodman isn't the only one who would go ballistic over that circumstance. But then again, climate change continues to be documented with scientific thoroughness and its threat is a little larger than the choice, or lack thereof, of certain fast-food items.

In short, it's what you might truly call an emergency.