Cloning and Mummification: the lengths we can go to preserve our precious pups
Do you love that dog so much that you would consider duplicating them? Genetic cloning has been around for more than 15 years. Some pet lovers with the financial means to do so are making genetic duplicates of their beloved four-legged companions; the idea is both pricey and controversial.
Genetic cloning became popular back in 1996 when scientists were able to duplicate a sheep named Dolly. Today, this high-tech genetic engineering is becoming more accessible… to those with a spare $100,000 lying around.
The procedure can only happen at the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in South Korea. The process involves collecting fresh eggs from the egg donor, removing the original nucleus, and replacing it with the cell of the deceased animal. This “piece” of the original, living pet is injected into the egg, fused together, and then transferred into a surrogate mother. After the normal 63-day gestation period, two identical animals are born.
The obvious controversy arises from current overpopulation of pets and the fact that so many living in shelters need to find homes or face euthanasia. Not to mention the fact that the money it takes to clone a deceased pet would go far to help those still living and under the care of animal rescue organizations.
Another controversy stems from the fact that current studies have shown that despite “identical” cloning, you are not going to end up with the same exact dog that you had before; it may “look” identical, but may not behave identical.
With that being said, however, should one judge or deny someone the joy of a second life with a best friend that has meant everything and more to him or her? What if it is a therapy dog who is the cornerstone and foundation of a dependent person? Just thoughts…
Well, if cloning is not your gig, there’s yet another option for preserving our pets: mummification. Believe it or not, more than 1,500 people across the world have contacted a business called Summum, which is the world’s only mummification company. The company based in Salt Lake City, Utah and their clientele includes celebrities from all over the world as well as us “common folk.”
It is a process that takes 90 days. The organs are taken out and cleansed, followed by hydration of the body by submersion in a tank for more than 70 days. The body is then covered with lanolin and wax, followed by layers of cotton gauze and a fiberglass finish. Lastly, the body is encased in a steel or bronze animal-shaped casket.
The body of your pet will still look like the day it died- even thousands of years later. This process is a little more affordable at just under $24,000 for our canine companions. And, to round back to the idea of cloning, the company says it has tremendous implications for this at a later date, as it is feasible to later remove DNA by drilling into the casket.
What are your thoughts on this subject and would you ever consider this for your four-legged best friend?