gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Not even over my dead body! Please!

May 09, 2008 @ 18:58 By: gordon Category: Seen on the 'net

The Globe and Mail had a story this morning about the next latest-and-greatest way of disposing those pesky corpses: gooification alkaline hydrolysis. Basically, you take a large pressure cooker, add some lye and a corpse, and heat it up under 60 pounds per square inch and wait. In no time at all, you’ll have a big pot o’ brown goo that used to be the dearly departed.

Seriously. I don’t need to make this stuff up!

The process was invented in the US around 1992 to get rid of animal carcasses and is used by two US medical centres to dispose of cadavers donated for research. Apparently, this is a legal alternative to burial or cremation in Minnesota and New Hampshire, though a few lawmakers reportedly want to repeal the 2006 law that made it legal.

At the end of the process, you have a liquid that is similar to motor oil in both colour and consistency and which can apparently be safely poured down the drain. You also have some dry bone residue similar to what’s left over after cremation.

They say this process is more environmentally friendly than cremation, which releases greenhouse gases, and sometimes a small amount of mercury from silver dental fillings, during the process, or burial, which occupies a large amount of space in cemeteries. But, by and large, these aren’t likely to get into the food chain.

Things that are poured down the drain, on the other hand, stand a much higher chance of entering the food chain. There’s already a problem with drinking water being contaminated by left-over medications improperly disposed of down the drain as well as drugs that aren’t completely metabolized by people taking them. Apparently, even drinking bottled water doesn’t necessarily get around this because some types of bottled water are just tap water in a bottle that hasn’t been subjected to activated carbon filters and ozone purification.

I don’t know about you, but the thought of this makes my skin crawl. I don’t have a problem with burial nor cremation, but there’s something about this process that makes me think of a line from that classic 1973 movie :

Soylent Green is people!

Do you really want to have to wonder who you’re drinking on top of everything else that might be in your drinking water?

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