The Surprising Details Behind Barbra Streisand Cloning Her Dog Will Make You Question Everything

Singing icon Barbra Streisand gave a candid interview in Variety regarding sexism in Hollywood. But the most shocking part of the interview had nothing to do with Tinsel Town — and everything to do with her revealing that she had her now-deceased dog cloned.

While the idea of cloning your dead pet is shocking enough, the story behind the cloning process — and her final thoughts on her decision — is even more fascinating.

For starters: Why did she do it?

Barbra Streisand at the Golden Globes in 2018.

Barbra Streisand was devastated after losing her dog. | Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Following the strong reaction to her cloning claims — more on that on Page 5 — Streisand wrote a column in The New York Times giving the details of her story. Streisand explains that she was so devastated when her dog Samantha passed away that she tried to have the dog cloned. She also said that a friend of hers had cloned their dog, and that’s where she got the idea.

Next: A quick look at the science behind it.

What does the process entail?

Barbara holding a basket of puppies.

The process can be quite complicated. | Barbara Streisand via Instagram

Streisand explained that her vet took cells from Samantha’s cheek and stomach just before she passed away. The cells were then sent to a lab in Cedar Park, Texas called ViaGen Pets. (They are reportedly the only company in the US that clones pets.) The lab then exacted Samantha’s DNA and put it into an embryo so it could potentially become another dog.

Next: Here’s why we used the term “potentially.”

What are the chances of cloning working?

Barbara Streisand and her three dogs.

Here’s how it works. | Barbara Streisand via Instagram

ViaGen’s website explains that the process of cloning a pet can be quite lengthy. “The cloning process requires the same gestation (60-65 days) and nursing process (56 days) as with any pet breeding technique,” the site summarizes. There is also a chance that the embryo won’t take to the DNA cells and the procedure won’t work. Streisand revealed in the New York Times piece that the uncertainty of the process drove her to adopt two other dogs.

Next: Caution — this next part may make your wallet scream in pain.

Is this a process anyone can partake in?

Mastiff dog sitting on a lawn.

What is the average person wanted to do this? | Byrdyak/Getty Images

This process of keeping your pet “alive” isn’t just for the Hollywood elite. It isn’t, however, a cheap endeavor. According to Time, ViaGen charges upwards of $50,000 to clone a dog, and $25,000 to clone a cat. Genetic preservation — in which ViaGen saves the pet’s DNA so it can be cloned at a later date — costs about $1,600.

Next: But it isn’t the price tag people have criticized Streisand for.

How have critics responded to Streisand’s story?

Barbara Streisand speaking at a podium.

People have many opinions. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for DGA

Needless to say, Streisand’s choice to clone her beloved Samantha drew a strong reaction from media and fans alike. A writer for Buzzfeed reacted by starting a Twitter thread full of questions about how to react to the cloned pet. Do you love it like it’s the original? Do you end up resenting the cloned pet because it’s not exactly the same? Needless to say, this writer wasn’t the only one with these questions.

Next: But that’s nothing compared to Bab’s own reaction.

Her own reaction to her decision?

Barbara Streisand speaking on stage with her arms up.

She might be waiting to see if she’ll get attached to the dog. | Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

Streisand doesn’t come right out and say in her interview with Variety that she regrets cloning her dog. But she does hint that it isn’t the same as having her original Samantha. ““They have different personalities,” she confesses. “I’m waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have her brown eyes and her seriousness.”

Next: The moral of the story.

What does this say about the grieving process?

Barbara Streisand holding a microphone at a table.

Is she preventing herself from grieving properly? | Andrew Toth/Getty Images

Sure, everyone grieves differently. But as one columnist for The Guardian wrote, Streisand’s inability to let go and let life take its course merely postponed and altered the grieving process. “She failed to grasp the most fundamental point of life: it ends,” he wrote. “Little by little, pets equip you with the tools to deal with grief.”

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