We all want our pets to live forever. To clone or not to clone?…that is the question.
Over the past decade, scientists have cloned over 8 different types of animals. It all started with Dolly, the sheep, and has progressed to offering pet-cloning services for your dog or cat.
Pet cloning started in South Korea and has made its way to the United States. A Texas-based company called ViaGen was the first US company to clone a pet. They offer the service for a mere $85,000 for horses, $50,000 for dogs, and $25,000 for cats.
Recently, in an interview with Variety, Barbra Streisand mentioned her beloved Coton du Tulear, Samantha. Sadly, Samantha passed away in May, 2017, at 14 years old. But before she passed, Streisand cloned her, not once but twice. The results are two of her three Coton du Tulear dogs, Miss Scarlett and Miss Violet. The reason she chose those names is because they look identical, thanks to cloning, and the only way she can tell them apart is by dressing them in different colors. Her third dog, Miss Fanny, is a distant cousin of the other two.
“They have different personalities,” Streisand says. “I’m waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have her brown eyes and her seriousness.”
The cloning was done by taking cells from the mouth and stomach of her first dog, Samantha. The two cloned dogs look identical to Samantha, but their personalities are different. That is the thing about cloning; the clone will look identical, but it will not have the same personality. This and many other reasons raise the question of the ethics of cloning.
Animal rights organizations state that cloning only leads to more homeless pets in a world where there are so many already. Find an adoptable pet here or visit your local shelter. While the idea of having a way to preserve our beloved pet sounds perfect, rescuing a dog from a shelter is what your dog would want you to do. Save a life instead of cloning one.
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Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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