Barbra Streisand Explains Why She Cloned Her Dog, Twitter Goes Crazy
Barbra Streisand received some backlash this week when she revealed to Variety that her two dogs, Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett, were cloned from her 14-year-old Coton de Tulear, Samantha, who died in 2017. The dogs were cloned from cells taken from the mouth and stomach of her beloved pup after she died last year. Streisand told the magazine that when her cloned pups arrived, she dressed the identical dogs in red and lavender to tell them apart, which is how they got their names.
After the Variety story published, Barbra Streisand received major backlash from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In a statement about Streisand’s story, PETA called the singer out while reiterating the risks and failure rate of cloning.
“Because cloning has a high failure rate, many dogs are caged & tormented for every birth that actually occurs—so that’s not fair to them, despite the best intentions. We feel Barbra Streisand’s grief at losing her beloved dog but would also love to have talked her out of cloning.”
In addition, irate animal lovers took to Twitter to call out Barbra Streisand for cloning her dogs when so many animals are currently in shelters. Indeed, what was a small side note in Streisand’s lengthy Variety interview has blown up into a controversy she probably didn’t see coming.
Kinda upset that, from now on, no matter what happy or sad event I recall from my past, I now know at that same time Barbra Streisand was out in Malibu cloning dogs
— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) March 2, 2018
— Kaya Jones (@KayaJones) February 28, 2018
I love Barbra, but cloning your dog is despicable. There are so countless dogs needing homes! Think of all the dogs you could have helped with the money you spent on that foolish project! Imagine if Samantha had been in a shelter!
— Lorie Spohn (@Ohnspay) February 27, 2018
Now, in an op-ed for the New York Times, Barbra Streisand has broken her silence on the cloning controversy. In the piece titled “Barbra Streisand Explains: Why I Cloned My Dog,” Barbra admitted that after 14 years with her beloved Samantha it was hard to let go. Streisand explained that it was easier to let her loyal dog go by keeping a part of her alive—even in an unconventional way.
“I was so devastated by the loss of my dear Samantha, after 14 years together, that I just wanted to keep her with me in some way,” Streisand wrote.
“It was easier to let Sammie go if I knew I could keep some part of her alive, something that came from her DNA.”
For the love of Sammie…https://t.co/m5w2DreuzP
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) March 3, 2018
The 75-year-old “The Way We Were” singer revealed that shortly after her beloved dog’s death last year, Sammie’s breeder hooked her up with a straight-haired Coton de Tulear, which she named Miss Fanny. But she also became intrigued by the idea of cloning after a friend cloned his dog.
“A friend had cloned his beloved dog, and I was very impressed with that dog,” Streisand wrote. “So Sammie’s doctor took some cells from inside her cheek and the skin on her tummy just before she died. And we sent those cells to ViaGen Pets in Texas. We weren’t even sure if the cells would take.”
Barbra Streisand also explained that she decided to go with cloning because she was having a hard time finding another curly-haired Coton like Sammie, who was given to her as an anniversary gift by her husband James Brolin.
“My Sammie was curly haired and that’s why my husband initially picked her out for me as an anniversary present — she was the odd one, different, just like I felt as a little girl. One of the reasons I chose cloning was because I couldn’t find another curly-haired Coton.”
Happy New Year from my three girls… Pink, Blue & Violet. pic.twitter.com/YW1T317Iyd
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) January 2, 2018
The cloning process actually produced four puppies, but Barbra Streisand contends the two she kept are “unique and has her own personality.”
“You can clone the look of a dog, but you can’t clone the soul,” Barbra wrote. “Still, every time I look at their faces, I think of my Samantha…and smile.”
For more on Barbra Streisand’s controversial dog cloning story, see the video below.