It’s Spring, that time of year when a young man’s thoughts turn to love and the Sierra Club holds elections. And Paul Watson, the animal-rights violence promoter who already holds a seat on the Sierra Club’s board of directors, is trying once again to stage an insurrection for the animals. Last year his radical Sea Shepherd Conservation Society endorsed an ultimately failed slate of anti-hunting and anti-fishing candidates, “advocating” (in Watson’s words) “the takeover of the Sierra Club.” He’s at it again, this time endorsing the candidacy of a fellow activist who is going to great lengths to hide her animal-rights beliefs from Sierra Club voters.

Meet Christine Garcia, a “vegan animal-rights attorney” who could help Paul Watson turn the Sierra Club into an animal rights group that would dwarf even the gargantuan Humane Society of the United States. In addition to Watson’s “Sea Shepherd” group, her candidacy has attracted the support of a radical California group named In Defense of Animals.

Garcia set up a personal website less than two weeks ago to tell Sierra Club members that she “work[s] full-time doing environmental and public interest free speech advocacy.” She neglected to mention her “Animal Law Office” or “Vegan Attorneys” websites — where you can find her contradictory statement that she has “been doing 100% Animal Welfare related cases since August of 2001,” and a list of her active caseload (consisting entirely of animal-rights matters). Garcia’s statement to potential Sierra Club voters says that she is an “environmental attorney.”

Garcia is a rising star in the animal rights movement, defending hard-core activists who need legal representation. At the “Animal Rights 2004” convention, she lectured protesters about “coping with law enforcement,” appearing alongside Paul Watson, Animal Liberation Front press officer Jerry Vlasak, and militant SHAC leader Kevin Kjonaas (Garcia has herself defended SHAC in court). She will also appear at this weekend’s Grassroots Animal Rights Conference in New York City, leading a panel titled “Resisting State Repression: Knowing the Legal System and Importance of Prisoner Support.”

Is Christine Garcia an environmental attorney or an animal-rights lawyer? Only her websites know for sure. But it’s clearer than ever that the animal movement intends to hijack the Sierra Club’s $95 million purse. Members who enjoy hunting and fishing — to say nothing of a good steak — should take notice.