We need to change how we bury the dead

We need to change how we bury the dead


When I say “funeral” this is probably
what you think of, right? The cemetery, the casket, the gorgeous floral
arrangements. Vin Diesel stylishly going two buttons undone
on the dress shirt. But what if I told you that other than Dominic
Toretto’s effortless style, this was probably the worst way you could
dispose of a body? This traditional casket in the ground method
most of us are used to is what journalist Mark Harris calls a “modern
burial.” And that is the chemical embalming of the
remains, the burial of the body or the placement of
the body into a metal casket, and then the placing of that casket and embalmed
body in the bottom of the grave that we call the
burial vault. So that’s pretty much the American way of
death. Aside from being a great name for a novel, the American way of death actually turns out
to be pretty terrible. The average cost of modern burial runs on
average from $10,000 to $12,000. Although you can talk to families who will
tell you they paid a lot more than that. In many cases, a lot more. This KISS casket alone will set you back seven
grand. No word on if the amps are included though. The funeral industry has also been known to
engage in predatory business practices, like selling vulnerable families add-ons and
services that they don’t need. They’ve also been the subject of a number
of class action lawsuits, including one for conspiring to fix the prices
of caskets at artificially high prices. “Modern” burials are also incredibly wasteful. The average grave site takes up 32 square
feet of land in a cemetery. And that’s just space. It uses a staggering amount of resources as
well. Which
almost sounds kind of fun right? Grill up some hotdogs, toss some diving rings
in for the kids to fetch. Not so fast. Formalin, which is the formaldehyde-based
preservative solution embalmers use, is incredibly toxic. OSHA deems it a dangerous carcinogen and strictly
regulates its use, and the EPA treats it as a hazardous waste. Embalmers experience higher levels of brain,
colon, and prostate cancer as well as leukemia. To embalm a typical body it requires 3 pounds
of this formalin solution and sends 120 gallons of untreated “funeral
waste” directly into the sewage system, including blood, water, fecal matter, organ
fluid, and carcinogenic chemicals, as well as whatever unknown diseases the body
contains. Okay cool, so modern funerals suck. But what are the other options? Well, let’s start with cremation. Countries all across the world cremate bodies. In Great Britain, 75% of people get cremated, in Switzerland it’s 85%, and in Japan that number is almost 100%. Two years ago, for the first time in this
country’s history, more Americans were cremated than buried and then pretty soon we’re going to hit
50% of Americans being cremated. For one thing, it’s a lot cheaper. A typical cremation costs around $1,400 compared
to the $10,000 to $12,000 price tag we mentioned earlier. (Again, a little more for that sweet KISS
casket.) Cremating a body also requires much less space, since there doesn’t need to be a grave. And it doesn’t require a swimming pool full
of formaldehyde either … sorry kids. You can also do all sorts of fun stuff with
your ashes like put them in fireworks, spread them in a National Park, or even turn them into a reef. But is it actually better
for the environment? So it sounds like cremation is better, although
it’s far from perfect. Is there no way to do this without hurting
the environment? Swedish scientists asked that same question
and developed something called promession. It’s a process where you freeze a corpse
in liquid nitrogen, rapidly vibrate the body so it breaks into
millions of tiny particles in just a few minutes, then freeze dry the particles and remove the
harmful metals leftover from your dental fillings. You’re left with a fine dust which actually
looks very similar to cremated remains. It solves most of the problems of “modern”
burial and cremation but unfortunately hasn’t been approved for
human beings yet. Another option is alkaline hydrolysis, where a body is put into a chamber which is
then filled with water and lye, pressurized, and heated up to about 320 °F. The body tissue is broken down in a process
that’s similar to natural decomposition, and dissolved to nothing but a skeleton in
about 12 hours. Damn, spooky. It’s more environmentally friendly since
there’s zero toxic emissions and it has about one-tenth of the carbon footprint
as a cremation. All that said, the simplest option might be
natural burial. A number of natural cemeteries have sprung
up across the country where unembalmed bodies are buried in biodegradable
containers, or sometimes nothing at all, and allowed to
decompose naturally. It’s inexpensive, natural, and can actually help preserve and restore
vulnerable land and wildlife. Not to mention it’s how humans have done
it for most of recorded history. No matter what the method, though, it’s
clear that we have to reform the way that we bury the dead. In less than a quarter-century 76 million
people in America alone will get to the average life expectancy of
78 years. If all those people were buried in traditional
graves, we’d need a cemetery the size of Las Vegas
to accommodate their bodies. The point is, we’re all going to die. The question is, what are we going to do with
all the bodies?

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100 Replies to “We need to change how we bury the dead”

  1. Well, that’s way better than what the ancient Chinese do. Where in they make a replica of what they have when they are still living. Literally. I know one that even has a comfort room.

  2. I believe that the only best way is cremation, which the hindus do! Burning body and then disposing the remaining in oceans, it's like giving back to nature, we are made up of soil and get mix with it after death!

  3. Well, that was depressing.

    In the end, the best solution is the Islamic way of burial. Natural and simple.

  4. Bury me in the ground no casket. I took alot from this earth time to give something back. Also be an organ donor. No point in letting your body go to waste when it can save mutliple lives.

  5. No the real question is where will you spend eternity?? Jesus loves you all and wants you to repent from your sins. God bless you all 🙏

  6. its all about RESPECT. I get it if you want to have a green burial but don't say everyone needs to be thrown in the ground regardless.

  7. Do it as we Muslims do just give the dead a bath and cover the dead body with thin cloth and burry it(dont use concrete).

  8. I remember in an interview Neil deGrasse Tyson said that he doesn’t believe in any afterlife but instead believes that when he dies his body will decay and return to the ‘flora and fauna’ of the Earth. idk but I think it would be cool if my body was buried under a garden or something so then I could provide nutrients to plants.

  9. Shortstop postmortem sharer postmortem parts body wellsFargo nested postmortem sharer loser postmortem sharerdeadpool mortuary postmortem tombstone mortuary postmortem sharer mortuary cremation postmortem $#%&@?!…^^

  10. Just do it in the nature friendly islamic way
    1 Give bath to body
    2 Dig a grave just wide inuff to
    fit in the body
    3 and put on dirt
    No need of expensive casket or chemicals or burial homes or cemetery

  11. Natural burial. That’s gonna be me. I was thinking of cremation for a while until I learned that after your burned to a crispy rasher, they then sweep you into a blender… unpleasant idea. Plus, I like nature ^_^

  12. WHAT happens to your body does not matter it's what happens to your soul that counts no matter how much you try to save the environment THIS world as we know it has a expiration date😃!!!

  13. Wow, so Muslims have the most environmental friendly funerals. We just wrap people in a piece of cloth and bury them.

  14. All this said was we do "it all wrong, and we need to change how we do everything to save the planet"..thanks..so helpful.

  15. i think you need to factor in cultural preferences too. Like cremation is taboo in my culture and generally we prefer to see the body (is that possible with a natural burial since they haven't been embalmed)

  16. If it were legal, I'd say feed me to sharks so that I can serve one final purpose of nourishing other animals. I'm happy to be alive and want to serve my purpose, but once we're dead, our bodies are useless and there's no sense getting buried in an expensive coffin that takes forever to rot.

  17. is it true that bodies being buried standing up to save room I would be buried in stainless steal tube in moonshine would last thousands of years preserve body and you would feel good to

  18. We need to stop burying at all, it's rediculous. What difference does it make, apart from funeral directors bank account?

  19. Cremation is by far much les wasteful. Of course you could simply stop using fornaldyhide and let tbe. bodies rot. Why not? From dust to dust. Why try to perserve a usess body?

  20. I don't wanna sound like a Muslim, but Muslim way to burial sound green and environment-friendly where people just dig a grave and left the body. Muslims also reuse the graves meaning they bury the body over another person's grave which saves the space.

  21. I don't understand why people buy those super chic solid oak caskets, as if someone was going to admire them under the ground or they think that the body will not disintegrate that way?… It does not help the person's soul either. Body has to disintegrate naturally

  22. ignore this video……… this video was done by liberals who think burying the dead causes global warming and the cause of cancer! what a bunch of crock.. don't believe everything… i know a man who has dug graves for over 45 years….has he gotten cancer? no! i knew an undertaker who lived to be over 90 years old…… think about it..

  23. Islam preaches burial of dead. The same grave can be re used after 2 years. Most economic and nature friendly and some haters call it as pre historic religion

  24. When the west think how to retired comfortably with money but Pro Muhammad Pbuh think how human being retired in afterlife and enter Paradize in the hereafter ..how great ! Mashaallah

  25. Just imagine if you wake up in middle of a alkaline hydrolysis where youre body is becoming a skeleton litearly the worst experience ever

  26. Think about the millions of people who are buried and all the chemicals that leach into the soil… Not doing the environment any good or water tables near by…. think about it do you want all of the chemicals they use on the dead people plus rotting flesh getting into your waters or soil's that you plant potatoes in…No not me…

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