Environmentally friendly ways of dealing with the dead (not for the queasy)

New body 'liquefaction' unit unveiled in Florida funeral home

Environmentally friendlier and one step away from Soylent green!

Given that on average something like 155 000 of us die each day I think it's good that people are looking into more environmentally friendly ways of handling our bodies. However death and corpses are already very sensitive and often taboo subjects, and many religions have pretty strict guidelines about how to handle the dead. So adding words like liquefaction probably isn't going to help move things forward and it makes me rather skeptical that the green death movement will become widespread any time soon.

That's pretty crazy even for me. I could give a crap what happens to my body after I die. I already told my wife to donate it to some Med school and not pay tons of money to stick me in an overpriced, air sealed underground box.

That doesn't seem bad compared to the abuse inflicted on a corpse during the embalming process. I'm partial to the Neptune Society's Reef Process myself.

Can't we all just learn to get along and ascend already?

I'm going for a technological victory.

I like that reef idea, that's really awesome.

Personally, I'd like my corpse dropped into a gigantic Bass-o-matic!

Duoae wrote:
Can't we all just learn to get along and ascend already?

I'm going for a technological victory. :)

Whatever you say, EarthDeirdre

Ever since reading an article about it, I'm quite partial to the idea of burial at sea. There are a number of methods but I like the one where you basically get put into a canvas bag with holes in it, allowing the sea water and life to get to you, but not let you get out of it. You're dropped into somewhat deep, but not too deep, waters off the coast. This way, I'm not sealed into an airtight coffin and kept separate from the world, but I'm also not reduced to a fine, unrecognizable ash. It would be like accelerated decomposition.

By the way, they don't just drop those ornate coffins into the ground, that coffin is dropped into a concrete liner, which is then sealed itself. Even though I'd be dead, I find that more than a little horrifying.

I'm hoping for plasma arc incineration. Gather up my component atoms and make something useful after I am done with them.

As another fairly expedient (albeit rather gruesome) return to nature there's also sky burial.

I've always been partial to cremation after they harvest any viable organs for donation but I suspect there isn't going to be a me to care about what my survivors do with my body. A lot of funeral rites and consequently body handling is for the benefit of the living so I suppose one has to come to some sort of compromise depending on the personalities of those you expect to survive you.

You know, I'd go for the liquefaction option after reading that. Sounds like a better choice than cremation.

To add a little more P&C to this thread;

The government, at least afaik, already regulates the way in which bodies can be handled. At what point, if any, is it acceptable for the government to take this a step further? For example; "After extensive research we've determined that of the currently available options liquefaction poses the least environmental harm and as such it shall henceforth be the only legal means of body disposal."

I just want to do it the Tibetan way.

Just throwing it out there, but what could be a better way than letting our bodies rot in the ground? You know, the way dead things have been put back into the world for the odd few millions of years. The only problem is that only humans think their old mortal vessels are special and need a dedicated plot of land after death.

Just throw me in the trash.

Wouldn't the most environmentally friend way be to just bury them but without all the extra garbage that we usually bury them with. Just pitch 'em in a hole in the woods.

edit: Hey, look at that, I didn't read all the posts before making mine.

iaintgotnopants wrote:
Wouldn't the most environmentally friend way be to just bury them but without all the extra garbage that we usually bury them with. Just pitch 'em in a hole in the woods.

edit: Hey, look at that, I didn't read all the posts before making mine.

Believe it or not, I think that's illegal due to fear of necrotic tissue getting into the water table. You wouldn't want to drink Aunt Elizabeth with dinner, would you?

So is the only issue with Cremation the mercury fillings? If they pulled your teeth prior to cremation and disposed of them separately would you be good to go?

Yonder wrote:
So is the only issue with Cremation the mercury fillings? If they pulled your teeth prior to cremation and disposed of them separately would you be good to go?

The filters they are fitting should help with the mercury issue, if not then yeah why not just yank em out first.

The other issues seem to be greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, perhaps it's a way to clear up some guilt on your death bed, "I drove an SUV for 50 years but at least my disposal will be energy efficient!" Compared to the space use and pollution of the earth caused by an embalming burial the environmental effects of cremation seem pretty tame.

Farscry wrote:
You know, I'd go for the liquefaction option after reading that. Sounds like a better choice than cremation.

Problem...I am changing my will to read that I am to be put in Super Soakers.

I've always said throw my ass in a hole and shovel some dirt on me.

Though actually I'll probably end up donating my body to science so future medical students can mock my body as they dissect me to further scientific knowledge. Maybe i'll be in the body worlds exhibit. Look at my c*ck !!

Dr.Ghastly wrote:
Maybe i'll be in the body worlds exhibit. Look at my c*ck !!

Vistors to exhibit wrote:
Isn't it cute!

I've given my wife a few options for disposal of my no-doubt-awesome-looking corpse.

1: Turn me into a diamond and wear me for the rest of her life. Added bonus of freaking the f*** out of any subsequent partners she has once I'm gone. Not because I want to scare them off, just because I like a laugh.

2: Donate me to medical science. Or one of those places where they leave corpses out so forensics folk can see how they rot. Basically, make use of the meat that's left once I'm gone. Which leads me to....

3: Cook me and eat me. Preferably feed me to friends (with their knowledge and consent, that is). This one is especially poignant if 'human' is still on my list of things-to-eat-before-I-die when I actually die.

4: Shoot me into space. If Spock can do it, so can I.

Jonman wrote:
3: Cook me and eat me. Preferably feed me to friends (with their knowledge and consent, that is). This one is especially poignant if 'human' is still on my list of things-to-eat-before-I-die when I actually die.

Human flesh tastes like pork they say, so why not? The question is whether you have enough bacon for all your friends.

Are there any special dangers to eating human? Any reason other than culture or religion that we ought not do so? Presuming the meat is fully cooked to take care of parasites, viruses, and other nasty stuff that is.

krev82 wrote:
Are there any special dangers to eating human? Any reason other than culture or religion that we ought not do so? Presuming the meat is fully cooked to take care of parasites, viruses, and other nasty stuff that is.

I don't see why there should be, we're just animals with a bit more intelligence. It's just a taboo. The only issue I can think of is things we've done to ourselves through surgery.

Scratched wrote:
krev82 wrote:
Are there any special dangers to eating human? Any reason other than culture or religion that we ought not do so? Presuming the meat is fully cooked to take care of parasites, viruses, and other nasty stuff that is.

I don't see why there should be, we're just animals with a bit more intelligence. It's just a taboo. The only issue I can think of is things we've done to ourselves through surgery.

Part of it has to do with the fact that cannibalism allows for a perfect medium for disease transfer. Add to that the fact that you're eating someone who most likely died unhealthy and was not dressed or butchered immediately and you have significant issues regarding food safety.

On top of the surgery I suppose lingering prescription drugs might be an issue as well, but then meat eaters supposedly get variations of those via the flesh of farmed animals as well.

krev82 wrote:
On top of the surgery I suppose lingering prescription drugs might be an issue as well, but then meat eaters supposedly get variations of those via the flesh of farmed animals as well.

Mostly, though, the drugs we get in our meat are fairly well known quantities, are tested regularly, and have food safety standards applied to them. We may not like the way we treat our animals, but there are clear standards on how the meat product is treated for safety. The same, obviously would not be true of eating your grandpa who died 2 days ago after going code blue and a 3 month battle with cancer.

I much prefer to have myself sky buried.

Jonman wrote:

3: Cook me and eat me. Preferably feed me to friends (with their knowledge and consent, that is). This one is especially poignant if 'human' is still on my list of things-to-eat-before-I-die when I actually die.

Grok.

Are there any special dangers to eating human?

Prion diseases.