In her surprise tell-all interview with Variety yesterday, Hollywood legend Barbra Streisand dished on everything from breaking down barriers for women in entertainment to her political support of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The writer-actor-director-musician also revealed that she’s had her favorite dog cloned not once but twice, resulting in the two puppies she currently owns.
“They have different personalities,” Streisand said of her puppies, Miss Scarlet and Miss Violet, who were cloned from cells taken from the star’s beloved Coton de Tulear dog Samantha. A third dog, Miss Fanny, is a distant relative of the three identical pooches. “I’m waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have her brown eyes and her seriousness.”
Cloning of animals hit international news in 1996 when Scottish scientists cloned a sheep. Dolly, as the sheep was named, was the first mammal cloned from adult genetic material ever and created a firestorm of debate on the morality of cloning.
Since Dolly was born, cloning has been somewhat of a fringe commodity, as only the richest can afford to clone their pets. Some reports suggest that Streisand paid up to $50,000 per dog for her Samanthas 2.0, and fans are decidedly unhappy with the celeb’s decision.
Many fans called out the animal-loving celeb for spending money on cloning when so many other dogs are in need of help.
Of course, although cloning is currently legal, there are ethical questions that always come up when the idea resurfaces in the media. Author John Woestendiek has spoken out against it after witnessing the outcome that many cloned dogs in Asia suffer — the dogs are often abandoned in shelters after not meeting the owner’s expectations that their clones will be exactly the same as their departed pups.
“To me,” Woestendiek told Scientific American in 2015, “cloning companion pets falls into the ‘just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should’ category.”
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(photos via Russell James/Variety + Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)