Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hoping for the Future of Eco-Burials

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," o ye who seek guidance from the Sacred Thunderbird! If Samhain is over, guess what is right around the corner??????

Oh, poo poo to Christmas! The East Coast Vulture Festival 2009 will soon be upon us! More on that later.

I read in the newspaper yesterday that some people are demanding "green burials": wooden or cardboard coffins (or no coffin at all), a hole in the ground, no marker, no lawn maintenance.

Don't know about you, but the idea that my mom is embalmed and lying in a steel coffin at the bottom of a waterproof steel shaft is troubling. Trust me, scientist of the future. You do not want to revivify that person. Seriously. What is the point of all that preservation? So she can be shocked back to life and become a bipolar redneck badass again?

My personal preference has always been cremation. Until now. I'm going whole-hog for this green burial idea. You know why, don't you?

If green burials take off in popularity, it won't seem like such a reach if someone requests to have their body just dumped in the woods on top of the ground, with all organs inside. The better to be consumed by the Sacred Thunderbirds.

Sounds impossibly progressive, doesn't it? Yeah, right. Native Americans did it all the time. Except they made it even easier for the Sacred Thunderbirds by building platforms in trees.

So, reader, root root root for green burial! The Sacred Thunderbird you feed may fly you to the stars.

Gorgeous black vulture picture comes from The Birdchick Blog.


Erik said...

I'm all for it, although as an organ donor I'd still want the reusable bits taken out first...

Pom said...

There are also biodegradable urns for cremation which is the route I'm opting for. The site I checked out has even created small heart shaped plantable forget-me-not things to plant at the site of the burial of coffin or urn. Kind of a sweet memorial.

I was hoping you'd mention vultures again. Mini Me was singing a song last night called "three short-necked buzzards" and I was hoping for an excuse to tell you about it. There are dance moves with it and everything.

THE Michael said...

Somehow the munching and dismembering of my body, (yes, I know I'm not using it anymore) just gives me the willys. I'm sticking with cremation, so that I am going back to the Earth in my more primordial condition. I just have this thing about being on the top of the food chain, being consumed by something further down. (No offense to the worms, you guys do a GREAT job!)

sageweb said...

I would prefer to be dumped into the ocean to become fishfood. Seems calming.

yellowdog granny said...

I can just see the look on my kids/grandkids face when I tell them to take me to the forest when I die and let the animals eat me..
might be worth it..

BBC said...

I can only hope to be dropped into the woods. But like Erik said, I'm an organ donor also and they are welcome to what they can use.

But I figure that by the time I die there won't be a hell of a lot that is usable to anyone.

Got damn good genes though, maybe they can use some of them.

Celestite said...

I have always had my dogs cremated and put the ashes in the flower garden. The flowers grow like crazy. I would like someone to do that for me.

Terra said...

I'd prefer to be composted, but I'll settle for a green burial. I doubt anyone would volunteer to go out and turn Mom.

mrsb said...

I first heard of green burials a few years ago, watching 6 Feet Under. I love the idea of this. Especially seeing how fabulous the grass grows over the top of my pet burial ground in my yard.

Right now (at least in NJ) there are really strict guidelines and only a few places that are registered to do it - and it's very costly, unfortunately. I'm hoping by the time I croak, it'll be much more common place, because I love the idea of going back to the earth the way I came in. Otherwise, I'll be cremated.

Auntie Mem said...

The crematory where we took my dad's remains was in the same block of shops as a barbecue joint. We couldn't help busting out laughing when we smelled mesquite smoke

democommie said...

Well, here's a story for ya.

I used to live with a woman whose ex-husband was re-married. His third wife was an ME of some sort in Rockingham County, NH. As such she was responsible for examining decedents and signing death certificates. She also was supposed to certify that they had passed by natural causes before they were cremated.

The case is, so far as I know, still unresolved. It appears, though, that the woman (who had, afaia, no advanced degree) was doing "remote" or possibly "drive by" exams of decedents. It's all very icky and makes me think that my one time plan of finding the biggest boat in the marina to snuff it on may have more merit than I previously thought. As for getting 'et by the buzzbirds, no problemo--once somebody makes damn sure I'm dead!!

mongoliangirl said...

I can absolutely 'root root' for that! And...sorry...your mom was already reincarnated into me. Minus the bi-polar part. I think.

Hillbilly Fairy said...

hey, yeah, i want to be cremated and have my ashes mingled with my husband's so we can be all cozy in a beautiful urn that my friend the potter will make us. organs removed first, ala what everybody else said. i'll never forget taking my step-mom's ashes to the pond in her yard and sifting them slowly over the water where she enjoyed watching goslings grow. the ashes all kind of clumped up and the slowwwwwly drifted apart. it was mesmerizing.
My mom still insists that she wants to be buried in the plot where her whole family is -- and it's 2 hours away. i still can't fathom driving her body up there and putting it in the cold hard ground. and then visiting it. how can i change her mind??

earthartist said...

Natural Burial Around the World

The modern concept of natural burial began in the UK in 1993 and has since spread across the globe. According the Centre for Natural Burial, there are now several hundred natural burial grounds in the United Kingdom and half a dozen sites across the USA, with others planned in Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and even China.

A natural burial allows you to use your funeral as a conservation tool to create, restore and protect urban green spaces.

The Centre for Natural Burial provides comprehensive resources supporting the development of natural burial and detailed information about natural burial sites around the world. With the Natural Burial Co-operative newsletter you can stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the rapidly growing trend of natural burial including, announcements of new and proposed natural burial sites, book reviews, interviews, stories and feature articles.

The Centre for Natural Burial