You know how sometimes in horror movies (or mob wetworks) somebody gets dissolved in a vat of acid, presumably leaving behind nothing but a puddle of goop?
Well if for some reason that’s how you wanted to leave this world, apparently your dreams really can come true!
Though I can hardly believe it, akaline hydrolysis (also known as water cremation or bio-cremation) is an alternative to traditional options. Except instead of just cremating a person in a dignified manner, water cremation will first see you or your loved one basically boiled down to bone. The liquid is flushed into the sewer system, and the bones are reduced to powder and given to the family.
It’s not new technology, having already been in a few U.S. states for some time. It’s new to me, however, making Canadian news last week in Ontario. I understand the science behind it, and it really does sound like an eco-friendly process, requiring 1/8 of the energy and creating 75% less carbon emissions vs traditional cremation.
Rationalizing the benefits, however, does nothing for my heebie-jeebies. The concept of pouring human remains into the sewer system is about the most horrifying thing I’ve ever heard. I mean, I know what kind of disgustingness already goes through municipal sewers, and I suppose in general terms liquefied body parts are probably no worse. Actually, the boiled remains are probably safer than what’s normally in the sewers because the high heat would kill disease and bacteria.
I just kind of feel like I’m taking crazy pills because at face value, pouring dead people into the city sewer just doesn’t seem like something that should be legal.
With its reduced carbon footprint, I can see this type of cremation becoming the norm someday. I still kind of hope, however, that my loved ones care about my remains enough to burn my whole body down to ash instead of letting the majority of my remains end up at the city sewage plant.