In a recent interview, Barbara Streisand revealed that she got her deceased dog cloned twice, triggering a debate on the ethics of the practice. Her interview, which was centred around sexism in Hollywood and Oscars, has led to a debate on the concoction of elitism and science. With elites willing to pay as much as 50,000 dollars for cloning their pets, it also raises the perennial question associated with cloning again-where does this stop?

Cloning can be a boon, or just another way rich people spend money

In 1996, a sheep called Dolly found her way to our Biology curriculum, for being the first successfully cloned mammal. Since its nascent stage, many have questioned the ethical aspects of this process repeatedly.

In the wrong hands (read multinationals or extremists) it could cause an imbalance, from which it would be impossible to recover.

Streisand’s revelation has given rise to such questions on Twitter.

Seen from the vantage of medical science, we can use this process to battle so many diseases or synthesize organs outside of the human body. But this will require funds and one way to get it is to clone pets of elites. However, the cloning process thus will belong to those who are paying for its advancement. Surely philanthropy won’t remain a priority then.

Why we need to put a check on advancements and application of cloning

As a tweet rightly points out, there are numerous pets who go unwanted and dumped into shelters across the world. So, first we need to focus on caring for those who are alive and in need.

I can understand why Streisand felt compelled to have her dog cloned. But nothing good has ever come out of attachment and inability to let go.

If this practice goes unchecked, in no time we will be faced with a reality that is outlandish. Remember the 2005 film ‘The Island’ which shows rich and famous people paying a hefty price to get themselves cloned? It is the basic premise of the film which is very unsettling. We can discredit the film for being a work of hyper-imagination, or fantasy, but without proper control, such a future is not far away.

We are a narcissistic race incapable of detachment. Hence, the temptation of being able to clone ourselves or our dear ones can be very alluring.

The question here is not about ethics but of what this tool will unravel on our world. So, if cloning of beloved pets becomes a trend, or if elites continue to spend money on such practices, without considering the chain reaction which might ensue courtesy their actions, then we are not far from a time when fiction will become our reality.  Therefore, instead of questioning the process we need to question the intentions of people who can give a direction to it.

Pic Credit: Vanity Fair

Also Read : Why Women Are Opting For Pets Over Parenthood

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own

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