New York State May Allow For Human Composting, Known As ‘Green Burials’
New York State residents may soon be able to choose the option of having a green burial, allowing their bodies to be turned into human compost. A bill has passed both the state senate and assembly, which means that if Governor Kathy Hocul signs it, the law will take effect soon. The bill, S.5535/A.382, allows humans to be composted upon death, rather than having a tradition burial or being cremated. If it seems like something out of a science fiction movie, it's not as bad it sounds. The bill's summary says it provides for,
The creation, operation, and duties of natural organic reduction facilities as cemetery corporations for the contained, accelerated conversion of human remains to soil.
Bloomberg breaks down (no pun intended) the bill into layman's terms,
It would allow facilities to use natural organic reduction, which accelerates the process of biological decomposition in an above-ground container and transforms human remains into soil.
Accelerated conversion of human remains to soil
If people are allowed to choose between a traditional burial or a 'green burial' I don't have any issue with it personally. However, a user named whozits on the New York Senate website disagrees,
I find this legislation to be repugnant. "NATURAL ORGANIC REDUCTION", the accelerated conversion of human remains to soil. Let's call it what it is: composting of people. The bill summary states: "this bill would provide that, ... remains which result from natural organic reduction may not be scattered." but then in sect 6 (I), disposition of remains, it states: "REMAINS SHALL BE DISPOSED OF BY SCATTERING THEM IN A DESIGNATED SCATTERING GARDEN OR AREA IN A CEMETERY", I guess to literally be used as fertilizer to push up daisies. This is no way to show the dignity and respect due to human beings. I oppose this process and this legislation.
To me, the bigger concern is what will the soil be used for? I'm not comfortable with it being used for farming or growing anything that humans will consume at a later date. I'm sure there are all types of yucky stuff in our soil already, but the idea of eating a carrot grown from the composted soil of my great aunt Dot, just doesn't seem right!