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Tamara Mac
  • Tamara MacIntyre

What does 'human disposition' mean?

Human disposition or ‘body disposition’ refers to what happens to the dead body after we die. The two predominant forms of disposition in western cultures that most are familiar with are burial and cremation.

Most presume that burial is the process of placing the dead body into the ground. Burials also happen in the sea, sometimes referred to as a ‘viking’ funeral or can be released into space.

Cremation has gained increasing popularity in North America with 60% choosing for the human body to be disposed of using flame and made into ash. The ashes are most typically placed in an urn and buried in the ground or kept by loved ones…they can also be scattered.

Many, if not most people, believe these are the only two options. In reality there are myriad possibilities with even more variations!

Here are a few things you may not know about human disposition:

  • Home funerals are legal everywhere

  • Human bodies can be left for 2-3 days without anything besides assisted cooling & does not need to be shuttled quickly to a morgue

  • Convention funeral practices are not sustainable as they are being practiced – not enough land

  • Cremation burns fossil fuels, releases mercury and high carbon emissions into the environment

  • There are many more eco-friendly burial and funeral options that exist

  • Embalming is not required (legally) to be buried

  • A burial does not require a casket and there are many bio-degradable options including hand made

  • Bodies can be dissolved in chemicals or released into the sea

  • Bodies can be converted into soil (without a burial or cremation required) or human ashes made into stones

  • You can choose a death that is congruent with the way you have chosen to live your life and leaving the earth and planet better off because of your choices.

Let me walk you through the choices. My hope is that you find yourself more curious than afraid.


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