Charles Cowling

Japanese robot for collecting dead  indigents

Here’s how a recent piece in the Daily Mail began:

Being freeze dried and smashed into little pieces sounds like the stuff of sci-fi horror movies.

But it is one of two methods of dealing with our dearly departed that could soon be available from a funeral director near you.

And in keeping with sci-fi’s often chilling view of the future, the details are not for the squeamish.

It goes on to describe the cryomation process: bodies are placed in silk bags and submerged in an alkaline solution that has been heated to 160c. Flesh, organs and bones all dissolve under the onslaught, leaving behind a combination of green-brown fluid and white powder.

It’s the sort of piece designed to excite max indignation, I suppose. The Daily Mail specialises in fury porn. But, judging by the comments at the end, the readership of this vile newspaper refuses to be stirred. There’s a characteristic if off-the-wall comment by Donna of Croydon:  Shouldn’t we addressing WHY we have no burial space? Like close the borders? (bloody foreigners stealing our jobs, choking our graveyards) But for the most part commenters show a hilarious or unsentimental indifference to what happens to their bodies once they’re dead.

For all the trainspotterly debate about the relative merits of alkaline hydrolysis and freeze-drying there is, as natural burial guru Ken West likes patiently to point out, already a greener, simpler way of disposing of bodies. Yes… natural burial.

Mail article here

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