Davis, California residents learned last week that an animal-rights group called VIVA! (Vegetarians International Voice for Animals) would be opposing the construction of a new dairy facility. Rabidly opposed to milk, cheese, and ice cream, the group has even interrupted festivities connected to Baskin-Robbins’ “national ice cream day.”

So who exactly is VIVA? Lauren Ornelas, the spokesperson who talked to The Davis Enterprise, also goes by the name Lauren Ornelas Sullivan – when she’s organizing protests for the radical Rainforest Action Network. This group has direct ties to the Ruckus Society and its more violent twin Earth First!

Even more disturbing: A national VIVA protest event held on July 13 lists Kevin Jonas as its New York City organizer. Jonas spent two years as the national “spokesperson” for the Animal Liberation Front, an FBI-certified domestic terror group. He now runs the U.S. arm of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), a group bent on (literally) destroying medical research companies who use animals in their search for disease cures. Jonas told this year’s Animal Rights 2002 (AR2002) convention that “today’s terrorist is tomorrow’s freedom fighter.”

Ornelas, by the way, is married to Patrick Sullivan, a crew member with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society — a renegade group of ocean-bound radicals that uses intimidation and violence to force professional fisherman out of business. The Sea Shepherd flagship Farley Mowatt is outfitted with a concrete-filled bow for ramming (and sinking) other vessels. In one of his AR2002 speeches, Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson advised the assembled activists that “[the] destruction of property is not violence,” and bragged that “there’s nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win.”