Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, January 5, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 5, 2019 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc



Raisin is our resident 
dreamboat showcasing a 
luxurious jet black coat with 
captivating eyes. He resides 
in Meow Manor and even 
though he doesn’t clamor for 
attention as you enter; he will 
draw you in with his quiet 
sophistication. And while 
he may appear to be aloof at 
first glance, Raisin really just 
has a laid back demeanor 
with a very regal bearing. 
Once you start petting his 
silken fur and scratching his 
neck and chin, he rewards 
you with a steady stream of 
purring. Raisin especially 
enjoys being talked to while 
cuddling. He can fully carry on his part of the 
conversation with his purring and his expressive 
eyes are so understanding. Raisin is a young cat, 
but already a great listener who will love hearing 
about your day while you unwind snuggling with 
him and relaxing. If you’re 
looking for a sweet and 
mellow companion in your 
life, Raisin is the one! Please 
do yourself a favor and 
come meet to spend some 
time with sweet Raisin. 
His adoption fee is $99 and 
includes neuter surgery, 
vaccinations, microchip 
and a free wellness 
exam at a participating 
veterinarian. Feel free to 
call us at (626) 286-1159 
for more information. He 
currently resides at the San 
Gabriel Valley Humane 
Society located at 851 
E. Grand Avenue in San 
Gabriel which is located off San Gabriel Blvd, 
north of Mission and south of Las Tunas Drive. To 
arrange a ‘Meet and Greet’, please stop by any time 
from 10:30am to 4:30pm Tuesday through Sunday.

Happy New Year everybody! And as animal lovers living 
in California ushering in yet another new year, we have 
reason to be of good cheer. A lot of positive changes are 
in the works to help reduce the abuse and neglect of pet 
populations throughout our great state, and that, my 
friends, is something to be celebrated.

 One of the most important changes I’d like to make 
a toast to, is the official codification of California’s 
Assembly Bill 485 into state law, as of January 1st. It 
has been an on-going battle, and by all standards it is 
way overdue, but - at long last - the powers that be have 
finally followed through on banning the sale of mill-
bred pets in retail stores statewide.

 In addition to the ban, AB 485, the Pet Rescue 
and Adoption Act authored by Assembly member 
Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) and sponsored 
by California-based animal advocacy group, Social 
Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), requires that pet 
stores offer dogs, cats and rabbits from shelters and 
rescue groups. California is the first state in the country 
to enact a policy of this kind, which will eliminate the 
trafficking of mill-bred animals to California pet stores 
and save thousands of lives from euthanasia in our 
animal shelters.

 Rather than delve into the disgusting details of 
disease-ridden conditions and in-breeding mutations 
that animals are subjected to in puppy mill settings - 
all to feed the greed of careless humans who choose to 
use animals for financial gain - I will focus on giving 
the glory to the good folks who’ve dedicated their time, 
energy and resources to turning yet another one of this 
pet lover’s dreams into reality.

 Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL) has become 
my ‘pet’ organization. I hope you’ll pardon the pun, 
but by ‘pet’ I mean they are my new favorite non-profit 
animal advocacy group. Don’t get me wrong, I support 
many organizations that work hard at bettering the lives 
of animals, both domestic and wild, and they are all doing 
some amazing things, but SCIL has won the key to my 
heart and (to a degree) my wallet as well, and here’s why.

 Most animal advocacy non-profits are on a quest 
to rescue and place otherwise euthanized pets into 
caring and loving forever homes, which I’m sure we 
all agree is an honorable and much needed service. 
SCIL is definitely on board with the mission, but what 
sets them apart from the rest is their quest to prevent 
animals from being rendered homeless to begin with. 
Indeed, their ultimate goal is to do away with the need 
for shelters altogether by focusing on the root of the 
problem; careless and excessive breeding.

 SCIL recognizes that in order to get a handle on the 
blight of shelter overpopulation and mass euthanasia, 
we’ve got to make changes to the laws that are allowing it 
to happen. With an awesome team of pro-bono lawyers 
and volunteers, they have succeeded in getting AB 485 
codified into a law that will help prevent the problem 
before it becomes a problem. By reducing, and hopefully 
someday completely eliminating the market for mill-
bred pets, the number of shelter animals in need of 
rescue is sure to follow suit.

 Perhaps my appreciation for SCIL’s approach to 
solving problems related to animal neglect and cruelty 
in our society comes from a rather dominant personality 
trait I apparently have. Some may consider it to be a 
character flaw, and I suppose it could be construed as 
such when I feel the need to voice an opinion using it as 
an emotional springboard.

 The personality trait I am referring to is my desperate 
desire to get to the bottom of things. I like to cut to the 
chase, and identify the source of a problem rather than 
having to keep fixing the tragic results caused by a given 
source again and again. In our modern day society 
humans seem to thrive on coming to the rescue, in 
general. It makes us feel useful and important. But when 
the possibility of eliminating the source of a problem 
that continuously requires rescue is proposed, folks 
don’t seem as enthusiastic to get involved.

 These are just my humble thoughts. I don’t assume 
that they are correct or true, but I do believe that our 
new law banning the sale of mill-bred pets and requiring 
the sale of shelter pets in retails pet shops is sure to get to 
the root of this particular problem and help reduce the 
need for mass rescue or euthanasia, and that makes me 
very happy.

 I‘ve heard it said many times before that an ounce 
of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and when it 
comes to the pet neglect and overpopulation epidemic 
in our country, this proverbial phrase could not be more 
appropriately applied. That’s why I stand behind my 
fellow animal lovers at Social Compassion in Legislation 
and will continue to support their efforts for as long as I 
am able. Bravo, SCIL! Keep up the good work!



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder



Gibbons died December 29, 1975


[Nyerges is the author of 
“Guide to Wild Foods” and 
other books. He can be 
reached at Box 41834, Eagle 
Rock, CA 90041 or www.]

 Has it been that long already? In 1974, a strange 
man entered America’s consciousness via television. 
Acting out what seemed to be primitive rites, he would 
brandish cattails, goldenrod, hickory nuts, and pine 
branches, instructing the viewers that “many parts are 
edible, you know.”

 Euell Gibbons rapidly became fodder for comedians 
who turned his “Stalking the Wild ...” book titles into 
the comedy cliché of the year. But, in the summer 
of 1975, the Federal Trade Commission ordered 
Gibbons’ commercials for Post Grape-Nuts cereal off 
the air, and, by the time he died on December 29 of 
1975, Gibbons’ celebrity had diminished considerably.

 That was a shame, for Gibbons did have a valuable 
message for America: There are tons of wild, 
nutritious food growing everywhere in this country 
that we could -- but don’t -- eat. Gibbons believed 
that the main reason that Americans shun wild food 
is fear of ridicule if they stoop to gather weeds, which 
are generally regarded as suitable only for the trash can, 
not the dinner table.

 The FTC ruling appeared to speak to a deeper 
fear: fear of the unknown. In the cereal commercials, 
Gibbons spoke of his years of foraging for wild food. 
“Ever eat a pine tree?” he asked in one spot. “Many 
parts are edible. Natural ingredients are important 
to me. That’s why Post Grape-Nuts is part of my 

 The FTC objected to the apparent connection, 
especially as it might be interpreted by children. 
The ruling said that the commercials “undercut a 
commonly recognized safety principle -- namely, that 
children should not eat any plants found growing in 
natural surroundings, except under adult supervision.”

 Despite its good intentions, the FTC succeeded in 
generating a great wave of mistrust and fear of all wild 
food, despite the fact that Gibbons stressed in his books 
and countless public appearances that you much never 
eat any plant or part of a plant until you recognize it as 
edible. Shortly after the FTC ruling, the media latched 
onto two incidents in which teen-agers who had been 
captivated by Gibbons’ living-off-the-land philosophy 
became ill when they mistakenly ate toxic plants while 
foraging near the Angeles National Forest.

 Gibbons’ death of unspecified “natural causes” at 
the age of 64 seemed to seal his reputation as a “kook.” 
At worst, people suspected that he had accidentally 
poisoned himself (he hadn’t); at best, it appeared that 
eating “natural” foods did not contribute to longevity. 
But those of us who saw the real value of Gibbons’ 
teachings still feel that he left us with a precious legacy.

 I first encountered Gibbons in 1972, through his 
writings. Excited and fascinated by “Stalking the Wild 
Asparagus” and his other books, I explored fields and 
woods across the country in search of wild edibles. In 
1974, I began to share what I had learned by conducting 
Wild Food Outings in the Los Angeles area.

 I finally met Gibbons after he gave a lecture at 
Pasadena City College. We chatted for the better part 
of an hour, our conversation ranging from carob pods 
to American Indians to compost. He told me of his 
plans for television documentaries about primitive 
societies that still live totally ecological lives. Gibbons 
said he hoped to show the modern world some of the 
follies of civilization.

 One of these follies is the persistence -- the 
expenditure of so much time and money -- in 
attempting to eradicate from our yards and parks 
plants that have thrived for centuries. Some of the 
most common edible “intruders” are dandelion, lamb’s 
quarter, pigweed, mallow, mustard, and sow thistle. 
Among the most enduring of wild plants that were 
brought to California in the westward migrations is 
chickweed. To even the most pampered palate, it is an 
incredibly good salad green, yet it often leads the list of 
“garden pests” in advertisements for herbicides. Other 
“enemies” highly valued by herbalists and naturalists 
are wild garlic, plantain, purslane, French sorrel, sour 
grass, and ground ivy.

 Many of the common wild plants have been 
used for centuries as herbal medicine, and still have 
value for simple ailments. But, like any medicinal 
ingredient, they can be harmful when abused. In 
1976, jimsonweed, which has been in California for 
probably thousands of years, became the target of an 
eradication program when some people erroneously 
popularized it as a cheap “high.” This was a typical 
case of ignorance about wild food that could be 
countered by some basic education rather than by 
the wholesale application of herbicides across our 

 So, while many people regarded the natural foods 
“craze” as a passing fad, others found much that is 
worthwhile in what Gibbons brought to the national 
attention. I know I do. Gibbons was just passing along 
something that our ancestors knew, something that 
is still a deeply respected tradition in many parts of 
even the “civilized” world where scarce food is more 
prized than ornamental gardens. Despite the ridicule 
of passersby, on almost any day in almost any park 
right here in the city, people still gather berries, cactus, 
mustard greens, chickweed, and wild mushrooms. 
These wild foods are there for the taking -- foods 
that grow in relative abundance and that are much 
better for you than a lot of the processed junk sold in 

 Euell Gibbons and his many adherents warrant our 
admiration, not our mockery.

Looking back over my life 
I honestly can say, giving it 
a great deal of thought, the 
biggest problem I have is when 
I actually think. Thinking can get me into more 
trouble than anything else I do.

 This was no more evident than recently we got a 
phone call from the bank. I hate it when the bank 
calls because they never call to wish me happy 
birthday or wonder how in the world I am doing 
today. They always have an agenda. Usually, that 
agenda has to do with my money.

 When I answered the phone all I could say was, 
“Here we go again.”

 Much to my relief it was not about my account, 
but rather it was the bank account of the Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage. I cannot tell you the 
smile that slapped itself all over my face when I 
heard this.

 Immediately I called my wife to the phone and 
said, “It’s your bank calling you about your account.” 
Smilingly I handed the phone to her.

 For years, we have had separate accounts and it 
has worked out rather well. I remember when we 
first were married we had a joint account and it was 
always getting messed up. We had two checkbooks 
for the same account, which did not make any 
sense at all. Everything was messed up and checks 
bounced all over the place.

 To solve this dilemma we decided to have our 
own checking account in separate banks. I am not 
quite sure about her account, but the checks keep 
bouncing in my account and I am not exactly sure 

 The bank was calling my wife because there had 
been a suspicious activity on her account. I thought 
about telling them that other activity on her bank 
account was also suspicious, but sometimes I know 
when not to speak.

 According to the bank, my wife bought a package 
of wine costing $600 and they were wondering 
if she was buying it for the church communion 
service. I heard my wife laugh and figured out there 
is something going on. We do not use wine in our 
communion service, we use grape juice. However, 
the bank did not know why my wife was buying 

 The only wine in our house is me, who whines all 
the time and believe me, according to my wife, my 
whining is very intoxicating. At least to her it is.

 We finally had to go down to the bank and try to 
sort this mess out. My wife tried to tell them that 
she did not make such a purchase.

 I would like to tell you how delighted I was to go 
to the bank with her and see her in a dilemma that 
I did not create. I know I create a lot of dilemma in 
our home. The fact that we been married as long as 
we have been married says a lot for her tolerance of 
whiny old people like me.

 “We did not think,” the bank manager said to 
my wife, “that you were buying wine like this. We 
thought perhaps you might have been buying wine 
for the church communion service.”

 All three of us laughed a very hearty laugh because 
she knew we did not use wine in our communion 

 However, the truth of the matter was, there was 
this activity on her account in the amount of $600. 
My surprise was that she had that much money in 
her account. I scratched my head a bit and thought, 
where did she get all that money? Immediately I 
had to unthought that and get back to the basics of 
our visit here in the bank.

 The bank manager got out all of the paperwork 
with this transaction.

 The first thing of note was that it took place in a 
liquor store in Southern California where my wife 
had never been.

 My wife looked at me and said sarcastically, “Why 
are you smiling?”

 I thought about telling her, but then I unthought 
that and got back to the details of the transaction.

In looking at that transaction, the bank manager 
happened to notice that it was on a particular 
Sunday when it took place. That Sunday my wife 
was in church. In fact, the time of the transaction 
was when my wife was playing the organ.

 “Can you verify that she was playing the organ at 
that time?” The bank manager asked me.

 A thought that came into my mind was to tell 
the bank manager that my wife was so talented that 
she could be in two places at the same time. After 
further thought on that, I unthought that idea.

 The bank manager finally took care of that 
transaction and we were able to leave the bank 
knowing us, or rather she, was free from that 
transaction. I did not say anything on the way 
home, but I was smiling on the inside.

 Thinking can be a very hazardous occupation, 
but I was reminded what Paul said. “Finally, 
brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever 
things are honest, whatsoever things are just, 
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are 
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there 
be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on 
these things” (Philippians 4:8).

 I am trying to learn to think about important 
things and not things that are negative and 

 Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God 
Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He 
lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him 
at 352-687-4240 or e-mail 
The church web site is

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