Today's Good Morning America explored the practice of pet cloning, focusing on the experience of one Danielle Tarantola. Danielle lost her dog Trouble years ago and has now paid $50,000 to have him cloned in South Korea, one of the few countries in the world that deal in commercial animal cloning.
The segment certainly has its moments. Danielle has turned her home into a shrine for Trouble, with his likeness turning up in anything from wall murals to duvet covers. And while we certainly understand the love one may have for a pet, Danielle is batshit crazy and seems to believe that her new dog is the exact replica of the old because, like Trouble, the new dog engages in unique canine behavior...like playing and sleeping.
Mostly, though, the feature is a depressing one. Anyone who has had a deep relationship with a pet knows the profound grief of losing it. A dog hair that's managed to work it's way so deep into the weave of your winter coat that you only find it years after your dog has passed will move you to tears. A cat will look at you in the same way your old cat did and you won't be able to shake it for an entire week. It's not crazy to miss your pet like its human. What IS crazy is thinking that you can pay a ridiculous amount of money to have it back.
Then, of course, are the ethical implications of cloning and the treatment of animals inside commercial cloning labs. The animals are treated terribly, with mother surrogates sent to the equivalent of factory farms once they have finished with their gestation. To say it's heartwrenching to watch the abuse of animals for the sake of wealthy people like Danielle's delusions is an understatement.