Pyreday 4 — a pig

Charles Cowling


 “It’s midsummer on the Isle of Bute in Scotland. Archaeologist Paul Duffy has a plan. He wants to know how our ancestors went about cremating their dead. He didn’t have a dead person handy, so he decided to cremate our closest relation in the animal kingdom – a pig.”

Ed’s note: A terrific pyre — interestingly, very similar in construction to funeral pyres in India. 

Here at the GFG we strongly support the movement to restore outdoor cremation to our island. If you’d like to know more, please contact the Natural Death Centre here. Read more here and here

Film lasts 4 mins 44 seconds. To bring it up to full size, click the icon in the bottom r/h corner. 

Huge hat tip to Morbid Curiosity for this. 

5 thoughts on “Pyreday 4 — a pig

  1. Charles Cowling

    Rosie, thanks – that’s answered my query. It would be great if we could encourage people to use shrouds or natural products instead of mdf coffins – but sadly don’t think it will catch on with the general public.

    Am looking forward to meeting everyone on Tuesday – I just know it’s going to be a great day. See y’all there!


    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling

    If the survey we have run for the last few months is anything to go by, most, actually the vast majority, are in favour of this as an extra option.
    The environmental issues as I see it, beyond the obvious need for amalgamed teeth to be pulled, is negligible. As long as the clothes, shroud and wood are clean, not fueled by old painted doors or tanilised fence panels, the bodies’ toxic load is itself minute.
    When I watch the black smoke rise from careless bonfire clear outs and the attitude so many folk have in treating the air as a valid waste disposal unit for their unwanted plastic etc. Surely thoughtful, regulated pyres are not a problem?
    Maggie, My understanding is that the scrubbers are there to deal with not only the dental mercury but the carcinogens generated by common coffins, there furniture and cremfilm. Plus all the chemicals in embalming fluid and manmade clothing.
    Apart from an approach by UK Hells Angels, has anyone got info on how our Geordie friends are progressing?
    Let me know.
    Natural Death Centre 01962 712690

    Charles Cowling
  3. Charles Cowling

    I’m 50/50 on open air pyres. In principle, I’m absolutely all for it – but then I wonder, why are UK crematoriums having to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on improving their environmental filters if, in theory, we can just cremate our dead in the open (regardless of the environmental issues). Is it over-caution (the dreaded health & safety police) by UK government or are our bodies really so full of toxins that we could damage the ozone?

    Charles Cowling
  4. Charles Cowling

    I think they only need to make a hole in the roof where the sun can shine on the body to start it now. Perhaps your local crematorium can find it in their new budget to do such a thing? Do ask them Lyra.I know this isn’t qute what we really want, we want proper open air funeral pyres of masterly construction and community participation. I fear that is a long long long way off becoming reality.

    Charles Cowling
  5. Charles Cowling
    Lyra Mollington

    A quick survey of my loved ones revealed a distinct lack of enthusiasm. However, this is something to bear in mind when I meet the crematorium staff on Monday. I think their jobs are safe. If it does take off I am sure they could retrain. I shall ask them.

    Charles Cowling

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