PETA Video Upsets Students At Eden Valley-Watkins

By Bill Hudson, WCCO-TV

EDEN VALLEY (WCCO) — In a place where livestock is a big part of the rural fabric, animal rights can be a sensitive subject. It’s one reason a group of students at Eden Valley-Watkins middle school formed a group to discuss the topic.

The group is called STAR, or students taking action for animal rights.

According to Principal Bruce Kiehn, “the purpose of the organization was to bring awareness in terms of things that animal lovers as well as individuals do to care for their pets or wild animals.”

STAR’s organizers asked the well-known animal rights group, PETA, (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) for help getting started. The Virginia-based non-profit sent the student group some literature and DVDs.

At STAR’s first meeting last Friday, six students went home with the innocent sounding video, titled, “Free for All!”

“It does not look like it would be graphic in any way,” observed parent Crystal Pastien.

However, within seconds of popping the video in, Pastien’s 13-year-old daughter was sobbing and upset. The images on the video were so violent and disturbing that she had to turn the television screen off. But even then, the images of mistreatment and slaughter were too much to forget.

“It carried throughout the weekend, she said, ‘how am I supposed to get this out of my head,'” said Pastien.

Principal Kiehn agreed and said, “it was shocking.”

The video shows disturbing scenes as raccoons are being skinned alive for their furs. Other scenes capture domestic cats and dogs, some still wearing collars, stuffed into cages and being delivered to a Chinese fur company. Other scenes on the DVD reveal livestock and circus animals being beaten with pipes.

But parents and faculty are asking what purpose is being served? If PETA’s DVD is intended to gain support for its cause, many here feel it backfired. That’s because when the video gets into the hands of underage students, it bears no written warning to inform viewers as to its violent scenes of animal cruelty.

While adults can make up their own minds about viewing such shocking and disturbing content, child viewers can be left emotionally scarred.

Says parent Pastien, “What else is on this disc they gave my kid? I could not believe what’s on there. It profoundly affected me and I had a hard time not thinking about it,” said Pastien.

The school is now attempting to collect all copies of the DVD. Principal Kiehn said the organizer of the student group meant no harm by distributing the video, adding that it should have been pre-screened by a member of the faculty before being distributed to the students.

More from Bill Hudson
  • marie rohne

    thats what its meant to do-shock people into realizing whats going on. people are too comfortable in their own little world and need to be told whats really going on.

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  • tarmancer

    If slaughter houses had glass walls….

  • k

    Since our government regulatory bodies, large corporations, and media do nothing to show the ongoing abuses of animals, well we are left with PETA to do the job. It’s a shame that no one else does anything to highlight these terrible abuses that occur on a daily basis. If you don’t want to see graphic videos well stop supporting companies that are doing these abuses. Walmart, Super Value, Super America, etc have cheap beef and this is why. They ignore basic animal rights. Consider buying free range products it’s a start and for only ten cents more you are at least minimizing chances of these animals being abused.

  • rebeccat

    There’s a reason that for most of us PETA stands for “People Eating Tasty Animals”. It’s not that the average person doesn’t care about animal cruelty, but PETA’s tactics are so heavy-handed, insensitive to us humans and lacking in real solutions as to redender them a joke. People are animals too and maybe if PETA could bring themselves to show some compassion and sensitivity to us human animals and our needs, they could do some good for both people and animals.

  • Sue

    The ASPCA does a good job with its TV ads, without all the graphics. I can’t watch the ASPCA commercials without wanting to grab my checkbook and write them out some money(if I had any extra). PETA has always been extremists, and I guess there is a place for that, but not with high school age kids.

  • Derek Morr

    I can’t believe this story. Of course people are disturbed by the images of animal cruelty — that’s the point. By wearing fur and leather, and by eating meat you are supporting this cruel treatment of animals.

  • Parent at the school

    What you need to know before you make comments about people needing to aware, is that this video was sent to a 13 year old CHILD to hand out at school. The program at the school is to teach kids HOW to treat animals the right way. This video was opposite of that, obviously. There was no indicator at all that this kind of material was on the dvd. They even had teen celeberties names on the back promoting it. There is no warnings ANYWHERE stating that the material may not be suitable for young viewers. This video goes to the extream of showing sexual acts being done to pigs. We all know this is going on. There is NO reason why PETA found it OK to send material of THIS nature to a CHILD who thought she was doing good. But PETA seems to think that people are angry at the student, which is NOT the case. She was trying to help and be active in her school program. Any parent would naturally be mortified if they found their CHILD watching this material. You don’t give a KID a porn movie to teach them about safe sex do you???

    • Sharon Ridsdale

      OK, you are upset….but you now have the message….animals are being abused worldwide….and if this group of kids wants to do the right thing about raising awareness about cruelty in fashion, in slaughterhouses, in shelters, in laboratories etc…then they are now armed with the facts….the truth hurts, reality hurts the animals even more…..Unfortunately people now days are de sensitized to the brutality around them…….this ‘kind of DVD’ gets the message out there…if you want to sit and winge about how graphic it is, , then by all means do so…that is your given right…BUT remember, the animals screaming in agony on those videos HAVE NO RIGHTS…..and their screams are to no avail…think about the message first…so you are mortified about your child seeing this sort of thing?…I would hope you would be more mortified by the very fact that such sadism and brutality is happening in the 21st Century….

    • Extremely Angry Student

      Actually the vdeo was sent to a 17 year old girl to hand out at school, get your facts straight before you start talking.

    • Katie

      actually i go to evw and it wasn’t sent to the 13 year old girl, it was sent to a junior who was in charge of STAR. she just handed it out to the one’s that wanted it like she was supposed to..

  • Crystal Pastien

    I am the parent of the child that recieved one of these videos. NO ONE has the right to graphicallly display animal torture to children. I believe in the ethical treatment of animals to the point that I have almost gotten run over while saving a turtle on the road! I caused a traffic back up on a major road to save an injured duck that everyone else drove past. I LOVE ANIMALS- anyone who knows me will tell you that.
    BUT here’s the point that NEEDS to be made. MY child put this video in- saw 20 seconds of it, and was sobbing, and EXTREMELY upset, and this carried through out the weekend. I was profoundly disturbed by it, and still am! The world and society as a whole is messed up. Dont anyone seem to realize that CHILDREN have NO place knowing of these things- at such an early age it causes emotional trauma-nightmares- and endless other emotional disturbances. I think thats why we as ADULTS call them CHILDREN isnt it? PETA has NO right mis-leading innocent children with happy colors and innocent looking products on the surface. There is NO warnings on ANY of their products stating the EXTREME graphic nature of what the dvd containd. The ONLY warning I saw was in ONE section stating “obscene launguage.” Id rather my child heard the F word than the skinning of animals alive- sodomy of animals with metal rods-animals in gas chambers-animals being pumped full of formaldehyde while still alive-cattle hanging from their rear legs having their throats slit. NOT all farmers are this way and NO ONE has the right to make it look that way- MANY farmers are descent hard working individuals, and ALSO grow grain that is used for GRANOLA- and numerous other NON meat products. I FULLY INTEND TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS AS I AM NOT GOING TO JUST “TURN THE OTHER CHEEK” Its gone on for too long, and ANIMALS have rights, SO DO HUMAN BEINGS!

    • Sharon Ridsdale

      ..the FACTS are…animals ARE skinned alive to supply the fashion industry with fur…animals ARE elctrocuted anally and vaginally for the fur industry, animals ARE still alive in the slaughterhouses when they are hung upside down on hooks…how else are they bled out if their hearts are not beating?…stray dogs and cats are killed by the hundreds in gas chambers in the USA….sorry Crystal…but all meat farmers ARE like this….as Sir Paul McCartney said…’if slaughter houses had glass walls, we would all be vegetarian…’….just go to the Peta website and see all the undercover videos they have of the abuse and torture of animals in slaughterhouses…that is why there is a huge movement to have CCTV Cameras installed to stop further torment of these sentient animals…IT IS ALL FACT CRYSTAL, PETA IS NOT JUST MAKING IT LOOK SO….get your evidence right first or all you will be doing is making a fool of yourself….face up to the reality…these things ARE going on EVERY day…that is why we have to have organisations like the ASPCA, RSPCA and Peta….you can ‘suger coat’ it Crystal…the ugliness is still there.

    • noelle


      • Lex

        Agree agree agree

    • Titch Bird

      Wake up and smell the coffee Crystal!!! Do you eat meat? The animals you eat ARE strung upside down and theie throats slit while alive…and often while fully conscious. Do you drink milk? The calves ARE dragged screaming from their mothers at 24 hours old and killed and the cows ARE milked to an early death…when they end up hanging upside down and drowning in their own blood too. Eat eggs? The chickens who produce your eggs DO live in cramped, filthy conditions, the males are killed almost as soon as they are born by electricution or being ground up alive and the chickens ARE all gassed at 18 months old when they go into their first moult and egg production decreases. Wear leather? Animals ARE often skinned while still alive. Go to the circus? Wild animals ARE routinely beaten, electric shocked and deprived of all their natural behaviours for your entertainment. Use cosmetics? Animals ARE tortured by having caustic substances dropped into their eyes or rubbed into their skins, or poisoned with massive doses of toxins for your appearance. Take prescription drugs? Do you want me to go on? Because if your do ANY of the above then don’t call yourself an animal lover, because you yourself perpetuate this cruelty. Or is it all OK as long as you don’t have to see it so you can pretend it doesn’t go on. I am GLAD you and your daughter saw at least some of the film. When you stop feeling sorry for yourselves you might spare a shred of thought for the animals in the film…you only had to watch it, they had to live it…..Titch

      • Marion

        To Titch Bird…you have said it…I wish the whole world could read what you have written here!!!!!Marion

  • Extremely Angry Student at Mother

    Dont even try to compare this to porn. Its is not extrememly graphic its the TRUTH! And first of all this video was sent to one student, a senior high girl who was running this group by herself. And the sodomy of animal with metal rods and all that, this is the truth, this really happens. ITS NOT FALSE INFORMATION. YOU ARE JUST MAKING PEOPLE LOOK BAD SO YOU CAN GET ATTENTION. GROW UP!

  • cats

    i love peta

  • cats

    the girl was trying to stop abuseing animals give her a break. “Hi people”


    She isn’t trying to stop it she just wants to aware people. THERE SHOULD OF BEEN A WARNING!!!!!!

  • k

    if the sinor girl didn’t have enough common sense to screen the movie before giving it out, then she shouldn’t be trying to run this program. she admitted herself that she didn’t know what was on it. and yes, it is EXTREAMLY GRAPHIC. that stuff IS on the movie AND IS NOT something 13 year olds should be watching. and if you think this movie is ok for this age of kids to be watching, maybe you should sit down with a bowl of popcorn and watch it and tell me then it doesn’t bother you to watch it. oh, it does bother you??? IMAGINE WHAT IT DID THE THE BEARLY 13 YEAR OLD GIRL WHO SEEN IT!!! The main point of this all was that the movie had no warning and peta shouldn’t be sending this garbage out to minors.

  • ~~


  • Christine Cramer Bugdanavage

    Why should there of been a warning? Do you think all these animals that are being abused get a ” warning” ? HELL NO…. These students want to help the cause, thats wonderful… But part of helping is seeing things happening to animals that you may not want to see.. The students asked Peta for help, well they helped. They helped open eyes, to whats really going on to the animals in the world. And yes these students who seen this, it may have scared them. But if you really want to help the cause then what the video should of done was ” open your eyes and heart”. Honestly it should push you to want to fight for all animals. I have seen worse video’s than that.. And if you continue to help this cause, you will to…

    • Teresa Ingersoll

      These so called kids are TEENS!!!!!!!! They play video games, watch movies, and listen to music that is just as bad as this video!!!!!!! This IS what happens to these animals!!!!!! EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I SO AGREE With you Christine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • .

      I am interested in your last name. there are not very many “Cramers”. I think I may be related to you.

  • RoninDallas

    Might be time to propose laws preventing such haneous videos from being distributed to MINORS. I mean lets be realistic here. Teens do not need to be exposed to such garbage, most of which has absolutely nothing to do with the issues of animal welfare. Maybe ask PETA how many animals THEY killed last year? the year before? maybe 2007?. How many have they adopted out?
    PETA is anti-human, anti pet. They think that getting models to strip down to nothing helps animals? Puh-Lease. spare us the sanctimonium, let US live with animals as we have for centuries and work for animal welfare. Animals are just that, Animals, they have NO rights as We have no rights against them.

    • noelle

      I agree that Peta does take things to extremes and they almost become a joke but at 13 kids today are playing video games where heads are being ripped off and blood and guts…so why not be educated at what IS really going on with animals in the world. I didn’t learn about this til I was 39 and I wish I would have known earlier so I could have done more in the animal rights community. Teenagers today are way more advanced then we were as kids. It also disturbs me that people are getting more upset because a 13 year old girl saw this video than the fact of animals suffering and being tortured. Got to love our society today! Kudos to people like you!!!

      • Teresa Ingersoll

        YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Christine: do you have kids?? would you allow your children to watch a movie where people are skinning cats and shoving rods in a pigs ass and laughing??? is it OK to you to show that garbage to your children??? if you think kids at this age need to know about this then allow you kids to watch it. and you keep you eye on your kid as they sit mortified with there eyes glued to this, and then when they wake you at night with nightmares, and are permantly damaged emotionally and metally by it, then I bet you would reconsider your statement. WE ALL KNOW THAT THIS GOES ON!!! Peta has NO BUSINESS in schools. or telling KIDS to promote them in schools. peta makes it out to say that everyone who eats meat is promoting these acts to animals, which in fact is false information in itself. not all animals that become avaible for eating is treated in this manor. I WILL NOT EVER support a group that is burning this filth into the heads of CHILDREN. You may have seen worse then that,but you are an adult, and i bet did you see this video when you were 13. This is the circle of life. Animals are here to eat. If that was not the case, they would not be here. I don’t see peta jumping out infront of an antelope so that it doesn’t dye a slow death from a lion do you?? nope. because that lion needs to eat. they eat meat. to servive. Peta is teaching kids that eating meat, drinking milk, eating eggs..etc is wrong. Most farmers own cows. Or pigs. Along with farming the land.Using their poop to fertilize the crops to grow food. These kids are being teached that the farmers are doing this to these animals which is causing kids to have a hate tward farmers. Sooner or later, the farmers we have now will dye. And all of the kids that may have grown to be farmers won’t because of the garbage peta is showing and teaching them. Guess what happens then?? There are no more farmers. Guess what that means…no more food. then what?? gonna start grazing on grass? my story too far fetched for you??? devistating things come from things so small and stupid.

  • Teresa Ingersoll

    This is REALITY people!!!! This IS what happens to these poor animals EVERYDAY!!!!! We can’t “hide our heads” in the sand and pretend life is all fairytale like. The abuse and horrific cruelty these animals go through is totally UNNECESSARY!!!!! If you are going to raise an animal for it’s meat, the animal HAS A RIGHT to live WITHOUT being so cruelly treated. They should be raised with respect and care. When it comes to slaughtering the animal, it should be done INSTANTLY and PAINLESSLY!!!!!!!!!! Animals DESERVE to live in peace just as humans do!!!!!!! This child says she can’t get the images out of her mind??? Well, the animals can’t get the severe agony out of their bodies!!!!!!!! GO PETA and THANK YOU SO MUCH for what you do!!!!!!!

  • Teresa Ingersoll

    OMG people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These so called minors and kids you people are talking about listen to music, watch movies, and play games that are EXTREMELY GRAPHIC and VIOLENT and it’s violence against other humans beings!!!!! And you complain about this? These kids are the age of most of your animal abusers!!!!!!!! We aren’t showing these type videos to two and three year olds!!!! I love the way you have a problem with showing how CRUEL HUMANS ca be to other living creatures but, you don’t have a problem with the FILTH that is played in the music, video games, on the INTERNET, and movies!!!!!! People who see these videos usually have much more compassion for animals AND other living creatures!!!!!! Having those images stuck in your head will make you want to stop the cruelty!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Angry


  • noelle

    Ok FIRST of all Miss I’m sick of this your story is no where near too far fetched for anybody. You are clearly very uneducated in the subject of animal cruelty and it gets under my skin when people talk about things the…y have absolutely no clue about!!! These kids are the ones that went to PETA..PETA didn’t come to them!!!

    ! This group was called STAR which stands for Students Taking Action for Animal Rights….NOW what animal rights means is it’s a group of people that intend to protect all animals from being exploited and abused by humans. This includes the use of animals for anything that causes them pain and suffering, such as medical experimentation, imprisonment in circuses and fur production. So MAYBE they should have changed their name to STAW..Students taking action for animal welfare BECAUSEEEEE welfare activists fight for more humane treatments of animals in general.
    You called this video “garbage”..this video is real life and goes on EVERY day. These animals are going through far worse of what this video showed, but you wouldn’t know that would you??? Animals are trapped, kept in small crammed cages thru harsh winters and summers with no cover in wire cages than taken only to have their skin ripped from their body while they are alive. Animal testing, gas chambers and heart sticking at animal shelters, cruelty to livestock, dogs and cats being boiled alive in China for their meat…I can go on but I know it’s worthless because it will only fall on deaf ears. STOP exaggerating about the emotional damaging part!! I think you and the other moms are just out to start a law suit! For Christs sake if these kids aren’t emotionally and psychologically damaged from your parenting skills they never will be!!!


    There is no reason a teenager can’t learn about animal cruelty!! Let me actually share some stories about teenagers and YOUNGER who are making a difference in the world. Here it is…hope these aren’t too far fetched for you:
    Brandon Wood, 10, helps save chimps from labs and advocates to end great ape experiments: Brandon thought he wanted a pet chimp, until he did a little research and learned that they belonged in wild. He also learned that over 1,000 chimps were stuck in labs, some being subjected to invasive experiments, about as far from the wild as they could be. So, he started his blog Make a Chimp Smile to raise money and awareness to get chimps out of labs and into sanctuaries. Though he’s touched by their individual stories, he also gets the big picture, and has become a vocal advocate for the Great Ape Protection Act to permanently end research on chimps. You can read more about Brandon here.

    Monica Plumb, 12, supplies oxygen masks for pets to fire departments: Experts estimate that 40,000 to 100,000 pets die from fire-related deaths each year, and there’s little that firefighters can do, since human oxygen masks are not designed for your average pet snout. Specially-designed masks for pets do exist, but they’re outside of department budgets. That’s where Monica comes in with, which has raised money to donate more than 300 pet oxygen masks to fire departments, EMS Units and K9 Units across the country and has raised even more awareness on rescuing pets from fires.


    Clara Polito, 13, owns a vegan baking company: Move over Girl Scout Cookies and make room for Not So Thin Mints by Clara’s Cakes — a chocolate cupcake with minty frosting and a dollop of chocolate ganache. That’s just one of the amazing-sounding vegan cupcakes created and sold by this teen activist/baker. Clara also keeps up a vegan blog: Clara in Veganland. Check out a great interview with her about being vegan (at any age) over at the Elephant Journal.

    Dena Miller, 13, raised $10,000 for Best Friends Animal Society … and isn’t done yet: Dena Miller had the choice of taking a trip anywhere in the world and she chose Kenab, Utah to visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. When Dena visited Israel in preparation for her bat mitzvah, her camera wasn’t just aimed at holy sites; she took pictures of the many stray and neglected animals she came across. Back home, she turned her photography into a service project and asked friends and family to donate to Best Friends’ Guardian Angel program instead of giving her gifts. Between the donations and selling the prints of her animal photos, Dena was able to raise $10,000. The photos are now available online, too, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Best Friends.

    • duh!

      this story isn’t about other kids that have been brain washed into this cult. her parents should be really proud of themselves for exposing such filth to a child in our already messed up society. so shut your mouth

      • noelle

        Yea you are a BIG DUH!


    Mimi Ausland, 14, started and a campaign for a national shelter pet holiday: donates dog or cat food every time you visit the site and answer the daily trivia question (whether or not you get it right). In the two years since then-11-year-old Mimi Ausland started the nonprofit, has donated over 3.5 million meals to shelter animals and food banks. Last month, with Halo Pets and Tails magazine, Mimi launched a campaign for nothing less than a presidential order. “Letters for Pets” hoped to send 100,000 letters to President Obama, asking him to help boost pet adoptions by declaring April 30 National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. They reached their goal in just 18 days, and are continuing the campaign through September.


    The passion these five have for helping animals isn’t a one-time project or a passing phase. Considering how much these amazing young activists have already accomplished, there’s a lot for us, and the animals, to look forward to. oh and let me end this with what the interviewer said to Clara about her involvement in the animal activist world: “she is an exceptionally thoughtful activist who contributes her time and talents for several animal protection organizations. In our interview, she spoke with a moral clarity about animal rights I rarely encounter from people three times her age”.

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