Marches Ensign has an article by Marion G. Romney that includes a Readers Digest article that reads as follows...
“In our friendly neighbor city of St. Augustine [Florida] great flocks of sea gulls are starving amid plenty. Fishing is still good, but the gulls don’t know how to fish. For generations they have depended on the shrimp fleet to toss them scraps from the nets. Now the fleet has moved. …
“The shrimpers had created a Welfare State for the … sea gulls. The big birds never bothered to learn how to fish for themselves and they never taught their children to fish. Instead they led their little ones to the shrimp nets.
“Now the sea gulls, the fine free birds that almost symbolize liberty itself, are starving to death because they gave in to the ‘something for nothing’ lure! They sacrificed their independence for a hand-out.
“A lot of people are like that, too. They see nothing wrong in picking delectable scraps from the tax nets of the U.S. Government’s ‘shrimp fleet.’ But what will happen when the Government runs out of goods? What about our children of generations to come?
“Let’s not be gullible gulls. We … must preserve our talents of self-sufficiency, our genius for creating things for ourselves, our sense of thrift and our true love of independence.” (“Fable of the Gullible Gull,” Reader’s Digest, Oct. 1950, p. 32.)
There is much that can be taken from this story regarding the ills of a welfare state...self reliance and so on... One major thing that stuck out to me is that it is totally possible to die of hunger...and be totally surrounded with food! Without the knowledge of how to use the resources that are all around us...we could end up in a similar situation to those gullible gulls.
There is a man out of Florida called "Green Deane". He has a website called "Eat the Weeds". Through articles...and a multitude of videos...he seeks to help us "gullible gulls" recognize and use the food that is all around us. While many of the plants he identifies are indigenous to his area...many can be found across the US...so they will be recognisable to us on the West Coast. Here he talks about the classic dandelion. Here is sow thistle that is so common in the Sacramento Valley.
He is very knowledgeable...and the classes are free!!! And you don't have to go across town to meet him for the class...watch it in your pajamas when you feel like it! Eat the weeds!