Buried or cremated? It's not something you want to think about, but death is inevitable. If we don't make the decision, our loved ones will.
But what if we don't even have the chance to decide? There's a new movement when it comes to what we do with corpses, and not everyone is going to like it...
Corpses have been treated differently throughout history. In ancient times, a deceased body was mummified, their skin and organs preserved. Then as societies started to become more religious, cremation and burial were practiced.
Over the past century, there have been some strange ways people have decided to be "preserved." Some people have opted for a tree burial, cryonics, space burial, and even turning their ashes into a diamond.
But now, there's a growing movement advocating for a better alternative than cremation and burial. One they believe will actually honor the dead, but it's not legal everywhere...
Caitlin Doughty, who runs a nonprofit funeral home in California, believes cremation is an "almost cruel" burial process. According to Wired, "cross-contamination of bodies is inevitable."
"We're sending our families into these intimidating industrial warehouses with behemoth fire machines belching natural gas," says Caitlin.
There's also huge concern over burying bodies. It's estimated that millions of liters of embalming fluid are buried with the dead every year. According to an article by BBC, the world is running out of burial space.
Image by tazzanderson from Pixabay
The Resomator is a machine that dissolves bodies through a process called alkaline hydrolysis. It's very similar to cremation, but it is supposedly a more ethical and cleaner method, since it produces less pollutants and carbon dioxide.
"The system uses a water and alkali based method at high temperature and pressure to chemically reduce the body to white ash. After drying and processing of the white bones the pure white sterile ash is returned to the relatives just as with flame cremation," says the website.
"It's good for society, it's good for the environment, and the quicker the backward ideas of the industry are resolved, the better," said Sandy Sullivan, founder of Resomation Ltd.
Water cremation was first developed in the 90s in Europe, during the outbreak of mad cow disease. It was the method used to dispose of cows that were infected. Through to the mid-2000s, medical schools also used this method of disposition for human and animal remains.
Alkaline hydrolysis is currently legal in some US states and Canadian provinces, and in the UK. The process is estimated to cost people $45, which will undoubtedly save people thousands of dollars in funeral costs.
The thing is, people don't like the idea of dissolving, but the process isn't very different from cremation, in my opinion.
If you don't think this a good idea, there are a lot of people who do. Liquid cremation may not be something we see tomorrow, but it's definitely going to be a popular option in the future.