Natural Burial Is Better than Incineration
I recently read an online item in the Ecologist. It took an ambivalent line between natural burial and cremation. It left the reader unsure as to which was best. I wrote to the editor in an attempt to rebalance the argument. Natural burial is better than incineration (cremation) was the nub of my argument. It suprised me when the editor made the offer, ‘write a 1000 word item and I will consider publishing it’.
The article is available here. You will understand from reading it why I am suprised when any writer still supports cremation. Few people realise why it has become so established in the UK. I introduced natural burial in 1993 and tell the story in my second book R.I.P. Off!
Why Has Cremation Become Established?
I understand how a cremator appears more modern. The process suits the conveyor belt and the funeral directors want cremation because it’s quick. The justification for cremation is identical to that used for plastics and pesticides; that we cannot manage without them. Also, councils want to phase out conventional burial; lawn graves are outdated and crude because the grass is cut 30 times a year. It’s even worse if you slap a chunk of granite over the top. If a tree is planted over the grave, or wildflowers grow over it then the perspective changes.
Natural burial is better than incineration
I walked through Hinton Park Woodland Burial Ground a few weeks ago. The birds were everywhere, some singing even though it was February. Snowdrops lay beneath the trees and primroses bloomed on a bank. Lichens festooned branches indicating how clean the air was. Hundreds of bodies lay beneath the trees, quietly decomposing and nurturing all this new life. It was a true garden of remembrance, a little paradise, a place to raise the spirits. Meanwhile, the catchphrase of the Cremation Society is, ‘save the land for the living’. This was devised before we understood the impact of incineration on the environment; it is now a despicable lie.