compost bin with human arm sticking out
Would you want to be composted?

California Governor Gavin Newsom just signed a bill into law that will allow Californians to be composted after their death.

It’s a headline that could’ve come out of a satirical website, only it’s true. Starting in 2027, Californians will be able to be composted in what experts say is a more environmentally sustainable alternative to burial or cremation.

While many are undoubtedly thrilled that their remains might be used to someday plant a tree, California’s Catholic leadership is not so happy about the Golden State’s new eco-friendly post-death option.

Reduce, Reuse, Remains

Human composting is a relatively new concept in the world of deathcare. Only a handful of states legally allow residents to be composted; The first state to legalize human composting was Washington in 2019, followed by Colorado, Oregon, and Vermont. Now California joins the composting club.

To legally compost a human body, the remains are placed in a reusable vessel alongside plant material. It is aerated, encouraging the growth of microbes and bacteria.

Within a month, you’re a pile of nutrient-rich soil, ready to be used to grow a tree in a forest or vegetables in a garden.

It’s much more eco-friendly than burial or cremation, which require constant caretaking in a cemetery or the emission of fossil fuels into the atmosphere. In fact, by being composted, you can, in death, give back to the environment.

California’s bill was in response to both the threat of climate change as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw funeral homes so inundated with bodies that California actually had to suspend emissions regulations for cremations. Now, says author of the bill CA State Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, Californians will have “an alternative method of final disposition that won’t contribute emissions into our atmosphere.”

And while many might find beauty in returning to the earth in such a cyclical manner, there’s one group arguing that it’s completely beneath the dignity of humanity.

Catholics Talk Trash

“More appropriate for vegetable trimmings and eggshells than for human bodies,” is how the New York Catholic Conference described the process of composting. 

A similar bill is awaiting the governor’s signature in New York.

At every turn, Catholic leadership has loudly announced their opposition to human composting. In Washington, for example, Catholic leadership declared that composting “fails to show enough respect for the body of the deceased.” In Colorado, Catholic leaders said it was undignified, arguing that “the human body is sacred and the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral society.” And in California, a spokesperson for the California Catholic Conference stated that composting bodies “would create an emotional distance rather than a reverence for [the deceased].”

But that isn’t stopping lawmakers. Even with the protests of some religious officials, ‘alternative’ means of burial are growing in popularity. From composting to Viking-style funeral pyres, more and more people are looking for unique and sustainable ways to leave our earthly realm, and it seems likely that more states will legalize composting of human remains in the very near future. 

What do you think? Should we allow humans to be composted, or is Catholic leadership right when they say it's beneath the dignity of human beings? Would you consider being composted?

158 comments

  1. Parson Golden's Avatar Parson Golden

    If I should die before I wake, All my bone and sinew take Put me in the compost pile To decompose me for a while.

    Worms, water, sun will have their way, Returning me to common clay All that I am will feed the trees And little fishes in the seas.

    When radishes and corn you munch, You may be having me for lunch And then excrete me with a grin, Chortling, "There goes Lee again“…

    1. Michael Wolfenbarger's Avatar Michael Wolfenbarger

      Flesh gives birth to flesh , but the spirit gives birth to spirit. Flesh is born of Flesh ,but spirit is born of the spirit

      1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        Michael Wolfenbarger, we Christians believe in the resurrection of the body. That is why our bodies matter just as much as our spirits.

        1. Albert Douglas DuBois's Avatar Albert Douglas DuBois

          Paul preached a new and perfect body. He never indicated that we’d re-use the old, decrepit one.

          The concept of an everlasting soul is not a biblical one, but a Neoplatonic addition to the early church.

          1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

            Albert Douglas DuBois, on your second point, I agree with you though not entirely, and the addition is top Judaism, shown by the fact that modern-day Jews believe in an immortal soul and Jesus referred to Lazarus in heaven. The Bible, however, points to the resurrection of the body and our life in a new world as ultimate hope. The body is the same as we have now, not a separate one. This is because Paul also says that in Christ we are baptized into his death and resurrection. The earthly body of Jesus rose from the dead, and so will ours. Otherwise, it is a different resurrection. And since everything subsists through Christ, in whom we have the beautiful exchange at the cross, another kind of resurrection is impossible.

    2. Hayley Jane Person's Avatar Hayley Jane Person

      Parson Golden, I love this!!!

    3. Paul Donaldson's Avatar Paul Donaldson

      love it

    4. Takaya Kovani Sweeney's Avatar Takaya Kovani Sweeney

      LOVE it😂😂🤣👍🏾💚💜💙

    5. Renee Michelle Johnson's Avatar Renee Michelle Johnson

      Quite true and right! I love your poem, and for that part of having been subjected to compost, I wouldn't want anyone eating me nor would I want to eat anything of another human nothing! It is about morals and dignity of the human body. What is the world coming to?

      1. JaZe's Avatar JaZe

        Do you know what exactly is in the compost that feeds your potatoes and raddishes? Not very appetizing 😳

    6. Michelle Minero's Avatar Michelle Minero

      Parson Golden, You brought levity to this issue, thank you for sharing your creativity!

  1. taycomama's Avatar taycomama

    I fail to understand the Catholic objection. Doesn't their funeral have something about "dust to dust?" It doesn't say "dust plus a $5,000 casket to dust." Fortunately the Catholics don't make the laws for the rest of us.

    1. Michael Wolfenbarger's Avatar Michael Wolfenbarger

      The way I look at this is lows of God is in the Bible, we have the 10 commandments ,to go by ,but we are under grace, this is the blood, and the death and resurrection of Jesus. The spirit of God is our teacher, he will also convict your heart when you are in the wrong.

      1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        Michael Wolfenbarger, the Spirit of God is also our mother :-)

    2. Bobby Gene Moser II's Avatar Bobby Gene Moser II

      The preponderance of Catholics on the Supreme Court would disagree.

    3. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      taycomama, dust in the Bible simply means lifeless.

  1. Reverend Kurt's Avatar Reverend Kurt

    On the surface it seems like an ideal solution for the looming mortality crisis. However one huge drawback is the massive amount of pharmaceuticals in our bodies. These will contaminate the compost for generations to come. Examples glyphosphate,statins , birth control and so on Consider carefully!

    1. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

      Massive? Could you quantify that? You sound like the Japanese politicians when they delayed the approval of the birth control pill for years bc they were concerned about hormones getting into the rivers. Viagra came along and it zoomed through the approval process.

    2. Marilyn's Avatar Marilyn

      Good point

    3. Marilyn's Avatar Marilyn

      Good point

    4. Marilyn's Avatar Marilyn

      Good point

    5. Marilyn's Avatar Marilyn

      Good point

    6. Marilyn's Avatar Marilyn

      Good point

    7. Marilyn's Avatar Marilyn

      Good point

    8. Marilyn's Avatar Marilyn

      Good point

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        Marilyn, you sound like a broken record.

        1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

          LOL Thought the same thing! I think you might have a virus on your computer, Marilyn. You may want to have it checked.

    9. Kimberly Anne Allchurch Flick's Avatar Kimberly Anne Allchurch Flick

      very little is held in our bodies because pharmaceuticals are metabolized, usually via kidneys or liver and excreted out, where that's a downstream problem. This would be true of anything held in tissues for a long time, there are a few drugs, but not many. If we held onto meds in our bodies we wouldn't have to keep taking them to maintain a dose level

      1. Reverend Kurt's Avatar Reverend Kurt

        As a retired medical professional, I disagree with your statement. drugs and chemicals do not magically disappear at death. For example There was a situation in South America where chickens were given recycled human waste water. Girls started menstruation prepubescent and boys developed breasts after a diet high in chicken. Metabolism, is hardly beneficial. Metabolism changes on compound into another. There is no divine or scientific decree that metabolised compounds go inert or become beneficial.

        1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

          Kimberly Anne Allchurch Flick, I think Reverend Kurt is right. I take steroids and that is why I have low immune defense against illnesses.

    10. Warren Calvin Wall's Avatar Warren Calvin Wall

      Most of the pharmaceuticals would be neutralized by the heat, bacterial, and microbial growth. It will not be as dangerous as the poison preservatives used in a body before burial. This is the reason for the requirement of a concrete liner in graves. Of course they invariably break and leak these poisons into the environment. I have given my preference for cremation for many years now. There are states in the U.S. that allow pyres. After a bit of research, this may very well change now. If the Catholics don't like it, how about if we only compost the ones that molest alter boys. They deserve neither dignity nor respect.

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        Comment has been removed.

      2. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        Warren Calvin Wall, why do we always have to bring it down to this level? Can't we just have a normal respectful share of ideas?

    11. Warren Calvin Wall's Avatar Warren Calvin Wall

      Most of the pharmaceuticals would be neutralized by the heat, bacterial, and microbial growth. It will not be as dangerous as the poison preservatives used in a body before burial. This is the reason for the requirement of a concrete liner in graves. Of course they invariably break and leak these poisons into the environment. I have given my preference for cremation for many years now. There are states in the U.S. that allow pyres. After a bit of research, this may very well change now. If the Catholics don't like it, how about if we only compost the ones that molest alter boys. They deserve neither dignity nor respect.

    12. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      And don't forget about formaldehyde Kurt, that they put in people after death, to preserve them I suppose, for some unknown reason.

    13. Norma Battes's Avatar Norma Battes

      Let us know when they find glyphosphate(glyphosate?) in my asparagus. I'm more concerned about the metric tons of pollutants tossed up into the air and into the oceans by our cars and industries. I can always not eat asparagus.

    14. Christopher Tracey Robertson's Avatar Christopher Tracey Robertson

      A person can successfully argue that Jesus became a Zombie.

      I'm just saying....

      Zombie Jesus

    15. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      Reverend Kurt, you have an exceptionally good point! Where's Lionheart? Has he shared his thoughts yet?

  1. Diane Minna LaFave's Avatar Diane Minna LaFave

    I have donated my body to be used in scientific research. I like the idea o being of use for the human race after my death. As long as the composting is on a volunteer bases I'm OK with it. Pastor Diane

    1. Michael Wolfenbarger's Avatar Michael Wolfenbarger

      Your body,is your body. The body is a temporary place, but if we are in it,and we believe in God the body is a temple of God, see we can become Godley. The day we die we get a new one .but this body is a spiritual one.we only get this one from God, we become like him in a lot of way,if we love him, we will take on being like God. Aman .

      1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

        Not if you are a women.

      2. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        Michael Wolfenbarger, our very present physical body is to be resurrected at the second coming of Christ. So, in a way, we should respect it even after death. However, I believe that such respect can look different to an individual. What matters, really, is the disposition of the heart. Catholics have a record of accomplishment of dictating law on others.

  1. Magistar Mormaer MacLean's Avatar Magistar Mormaer MacLean

    I would be quite happy to be the compost under the planting of a sapling.

  1. Clifford Aguirre's Avatar Clifford Aguirre

    God created the earth. So when we are put into the ground either by burial, cremation or composting, we are actually going right back into God's creation. How can that be lower than the dignity of people? You are actually becoming a part of everything that God created. You may actually help to grow a tree. I would rather have my children and grandchildren sit under a tree that grew from me than sit at a cement tombstone.

    1. Billy Foppiano's Avatar Billy Foppiano

      THat sound wonderful. I agree, and I'm in for the process

    2. Billy Foppiano's Avatar Billy Foppiano

      I concur. Oregon has had composting for a while, and I"m glad California has followed . I'm in !

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    Everyone is forgetting the money aspect…. The Catholic Church makes a nice profit with every funeral.

    1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      Douglas Robert Spindler, that is true!

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    I was just under the impression that after cremation.The ashes were given back to the relatives and they either kept them or scattered them at the deceased favourite spot .I'm being cremated and having my ashes scattered at sea as I come from the coast

  1. Reverend Buzz's Avatar Reverend Buzz

    No different than burial at sea, which has long been a respected means of disposing of human remains.

  1. Geoffrey C. Olive's Avatar Geoffrey C. Olive

    Monty Python had an alternative with their third option: burn, bury or dump!

    1. Michael Hall's Avatar Michael Hall

      There was also a fourth option: eating!

      1. arawngraalrd's Avatar arawngraalrd

        Eating is just an extended form of Dump.

        1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

          I hope these are jokes, right?

  1. Michael Hall's Avatar Michael Hall

    There are several methods to deal with the deceased and if the Catholic faith says, "don't do this one", that's on them. I've paid for my cremation through the Neptune Society. Now, whether they offer an alkaline hydrolysis option, like this appears to be, I don't know, but whatever happens, I'll be dead.

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    We were made of stardust. And will become stardust after we die. Doesn’t matter what Catholics believe, they too will become stardust like all non-Catholics.

  1. Mary Jane Ellen's Avatar Mary Jane Ellen

    My arrangements are already made with the funeral home. I am being cremated, put in a urn I have chosen and buried on top of my mother. It isn’t like I can ever use my body again! I honestly don’t care what happens to my body after I pass...... NO CALLING HOURS, NO FUNERAL, NO GRAVESIDE SERVICES! I will be done with this crappy world!!!

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      I told my youngest brother to just throw me in a pauper's grave, and use the rest of the life insurance money on other, more important things, like a wild, burial party. And I told him that I insist on is that they play Ozzy Osbourne's song No More Tears at my funeral/burial party.

    2. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      Mary Jane Ellen, your body will come back into a better world. This is the hope of Christianity.

  1. Kimberly Anne Allchurch Flick's Avatar Kimberly Anne Allchurch Flick

    This is such a beautiful way to honor the dignity of nature and how the wisdom of nature has handled the deaths of animals and plants through time. Before humans started using toxic chemicals to preserve, and spend thousands on coffins to keep bodies underground, taking land an energy, bodies have been shrouded and buried, put to sea, or left for millenia.

    Reasons compost is so much better: Healing the Climate For every person who chooses Recompose over conventional burial or cremation, one metric ton of carbon dioxide is prevented from entering the atmosphere. In addition, our approach to human composting requires 1/8 the energy of conventional burial or cremation. Recompose allows you to choose an end-of-life option that strengthens the environment rather than depleting it.

    Moving Away from Toxic Practices Current funerary practices are environmentally problematic. Each year, 2.7 million people die in the U.S., and most are buried in a conventional cemetery or cremated.

    Cremation burns fossil fuels and emits carbon dioxide and particulates into the atmosphere. Conventional burial consumes valuable urban land, pollutes the soil, and contributes to climate change through resource-intensive manufacture and transport of caskets, headstones, and grave liners. The overall environmental impact of conventional burial and cremation is about the same.

    Creating Soil Health The breakdown of organic matter is an essential component in the cycle that allows the death of one organism to nurture the life of another. Soil is the foundation of a healthy ecosystem. It filters water, provides nutrients to plants, sequesters carbon, and helps regulate global temperature.

    We can give back for the future health of our planet. This is what Recompose offers: LAYING-IN CEREMONY We offer a laying-in ceremony, or a green funeral, that allows you the opportunity to honor your loved one with care and respect. Much like the moment when a body is interred into the earth during a burial, the laying-in represents a moment of transition. Our experienced Services team can help you plan your person’s laying-in every step of the way.

    SOIL TRANSFORMATION Your loved one’s body will be surrounded by wood chips, alfalfa, and straw in a vessel where microbes will naturally break the body down. The entire process, from placing your person into the vessel to finished soil, takes between six to eight weeks.

    GIVING BACK Once complete, similar to ashes from a cremation, the soil can be used however you choose—to enrich a garden, plant a tree, or spread across multiple locations. If you prefer not to keep all, or any, of the soil, we will donate it to Bells Mountain, 700 acres of conserved land in southern Washington.

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    When we were kids— we used to ask our Roman Catholic friends, why they couldn’t eat meat on Fridays ( which they could be consigned to a Hell - for eternity- for doing.)

    We used to ask “Do Catholics — who partake in “Holy Communion” actually eat a piece of the Christian Gods Son (Jesus) — and, if so, does this constitute cannibalism?

    And, can a Catholic vegetarian eat Holy Communion (which is actually a piece of the body of Jesus) do so — while still considering themselves a vegetarian?

    And, if cannibalism is illegal in the USA— isn’t this a violation of the “Freedom of Religion” Amendment to the USA Constitution?

    1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      William Dusenberry, I think your views are a little bit too radical. You are entering the realm of theology. The Eucharist is itself a mystery each Christian tradition, including Roman Catholics, can only try to describe. It is impossible to explain it in full. The only thing we can say for sure is that it is an ordinance (command) of Jesus to celebrate a 'memorial'(= actualization in the present) of what he did on Calvary for us.

  1. Chris's Avatar Chris

    As with everything else the religious folk try to force, if they don't like it they don't have to participate. Once a person is dead, the body is just a pile of meat, bone, and fat. I have no problem with composting. It's better for the environment than embalming someone and putting them in an expensive box in the ground.

  1. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

    If you are religious and yet don’t understand why the Catholics would have this position then you now have experienced how rational critical thinkers view you.

  1. Charles Jude Platt's Avatar Charles Jude Platt

    Catholicism is a religion of extremes, good or bad. They certainly have their fair share of "nuts" in their clergy. I believe we were taught that on the last day, "there will be a resurrection of the body & soul." (I think it went something like that, lol) So friends, if God is so powerful to make it happen, any damn way he/she wants. Why not keep the faith, albeit insane? Take me away and plant me under a Weeping Willow.

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      What’s good?

    2. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      Charles Jude Platt, I wouldn't technically call Catholicism a religion. That's a misnomer. It is a tradition developed in the West within Christianity. Through Ecumenism we have now abolished reciprocal excommunications within the different expressions of the Christian Church.

  1. NLilly's Avatar NLilly

    I simply stand in agreement with the Catholics on this one. Honor the deceased with a proper burial service. It's my Family Tradition, as the human body is sacred, in Life and in Death. Bury the dead with dignity, in JESUS Name! AMEN! Even cremation is not an option, in my upbringing. GOD Bless. ♥ ♥

    I guess that kind of option will cause the burial prices to drastically reduce to sensible meanings, as some Funeral Homes are charging 'out the roof' now, for proper burials, and that's just being cruel and greedy to the grieving family members.

  1. Keith Graham Ainsworth's Avatar Keith Graham Ainsworth

    It doesn't make any difference, we all become compost if we are buried. It's only our body anyway. The Californian government is appealing to the hip, trendy wannabes who are likely incapable of original thought.

    1. Rev. B's Avatar Rev. B

      And my problem with it is that because of the Reinforced iron or concrete / plastic vaults the body is prevented from composting / going back to the Earth. I personally find it a large and unnecessary waste of both mineral resources and the embalming chemicals. I like the idea of what you said and if burial without a vault (and preservatives) were still an option like it was when burial began, I would agree wholeheartedly but unfortunately in my state it is not. I understand why people like this option.

  1. Barry T Gabbard's Avatar Barry T Gabbard

    as far as imp concerned it is cannibalism. it is sick to think you would spread someone's ashes or dirt like substance in a area used for food (which is what alot of them suggest). this is satans way to get you to do that--to eat someone--they eat the flesh in satanic rituals--why not just cut them up and eat them--damn near the same thing--plus that will be next--why do you think there are all kinds of shows promoting that.

    the only people who would accept something like that i guarantee you, they are not Christians period. they may say they are Christians, but they don't repent of their sins and follow Jesus.

    so--anyone who doesn't follow Jesus Christ and repent of your sins--go ahead--eat of your mother or gmas ashes or compost--get everything you can in this life time (money, money, money) because whether you believe it or not, hell is real and you are going there for eternity!!

    1. Warren Calvin Wall's Avatar Warren Calvin Wall

      Wow, just wow.

  1. Guy Sutherland McLaren's Avatar Guy Sutherland McLaren

    If you don't want to be composted, don't be composted, Myself, I have no problem with being fed to vultures and hyenas, and the worms can have the rest, As that is not a real option in South Africa, I will look into this composting thing.

  1. Kevin James Bogan's Avatar Kevin James Bogan

    From dust we came and unto dust we shall return. Why all the drama?

  1. David W Otte's Avatar David W Otte

    I have no problem with this concept.

    I'd prefer an open pyre cremation.

    Or, plant me, no casket, and place Datura and Acacia above the body. Let the children play and dance in the shade.

    Minister David W. Otte

    1. William Sadler's Avatar William Sadler

      Only Datura and Acacia? Hmmm. Terminal eternal Dreamtime for the aboriginal in is all. I'd also want San Pedro, Salvia divinorum, several varieties of mushrooms, cannabis and Papaver somniferum. And coffee, cacao and tea bushes. Well, a full apothecary garden would be nice. And the science behind the toxins I put in the soil? The fungal mycelia will take care of it. Several of the mushrooms should be bioluminescent to scare off superstitious ninnies. Boo!

  1. Martin L Stigleman's Avatar Martin L Stigleman

    And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. ~Genesis 2:7

    "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust..." is the most well known burial verse in existence.

    ...and yet "Catholic leadership declared that composting 'fails to show enough respect for the body of the deceased.'

    Wow...Just...Wow. Maybe the Catholic Church knows how things should be a bit better than God does.

  1. Bridget Kielas-Fecyk's Avatar Bridget Kielas-Fecyk

    People are not going to be put into compost piles and left to rot like garbage. Idiots among the religious groups are screaming that's how it will be, but it's NOT. What they are talking about is cremating the body and taking the nutrient-rich ash and mixing it with soil. Then the people being allowed to take the remains and use them to grow plants. Another thing that people want to be able to do is take the corpse and have a simple, easily degraded, coffin and when the body is buried, a tree is planted on top of it so that people can go to the tree, a living thing, and it will be a symbol of the person that they loved. In essence, giving the person they loved a second life.

    Catholics, and others, can fume all they want, but this is not "Death in Indignity". This is a dignified end. Being allowed to take the body of loved ones and, by planting seeds with them, sometimes burying them without coffins, which of course means they cannot be embalmed, they can bring forth new life.

    1. Guy Sutherland McLaren's Avatar Guy Sutherland McLaren

      If this is the case, how is it an alternative to cremation? asking for a frriend

  1. George T Tusi's Avatar George T Tusi

    for thousands of years we had a basic body composting. granted burial in the dirt is often called something else but is the exact same thing. all of a sudden their is a problem with it ? and the problem is based on nothing found in the holy scripture. The problem stems from the opinion of Man, NOT GOD. For to God In all His Power and Glory, This Is Not even worth mentioning. Do you think his power was tested in the vision of dry Bones ? oh ye of little faith. His power was NOT even Tested. His will Was Done And that was all that was needed.

    1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      George T Tusi, for Catholics it is important that bodies are buried on sacred ground. That's the bottom line.

  1. Lisa Morgan's Avatar Lisa Morgan

    I think a person should be able to do as they wish at the end. But I will be cremated. I can only imagine the infectious diseases and pharmaceuticals that could be leaked into our soil causing many problems. Hepatitis, HIV, amongst others as well as birth control, and certain medications that can be hazardous. Some chemotherapies aren't even suppised to be touched with human hands. Hence what will be leaked into our soil.

    1. Warren Calvin Wall's Avatar Warren Calvin Wall

      Most of this will be dealt with by the composting process. Heat, along with bacterial and microbial growth will eliminate most problems. It is no more environmentally dangerous than embalming chemicals. It's not like just leaving remains out in the open. Composting is a process.

  1. Jude Christensen's Avatar Jude Christensen

    I fully support a return to the earth as a natural process. The digestive biome of our bodies contains bacteria that will grow fungus. With the current practice of layering the body with a heavy casket and liner, it prevents decomposition for many years. This article states that a body will turn to compost in a month. It will start in a month and take much longer than that to fully decompose. I suggest researching getting a biodegradable shroud that contains mushroom(fungus) spores to speed up the process. It is my hope that the Catholic Church will come around. With continued objection to birth control and abortion, won’t they understand that “dust to dust” is more sustainable on the limited space of earth?

  1. Robert Duff's Avatar Robert Duff

    I have it in my will to be composted. I agree with the Outlaw Josey Wales that "Buzzards gotta eat same as worms."

  1. Pink Clover's Avatar Pink Clover

    How the Catholic church feels about this means absolutely nothing. The environmental issues should be checked out thoroughly, but if your religion doesn't allow you to do it (when will you think for yourself?) then don't do it. I'm pretty tired of religious folks trying to tell the rest of us what we should and should not be doing.

    1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      Pink Clover, I hear you. However, they have a duty to show a way.

  1. Vicki's Avatar Vicki

    There are also green cemeteries - not all that different from composting and it sounds nicer. In Wisconsin I'm familiar with the Natural Path Cemetery: http://farleycenter.org/nps/ where people are buried in a shroud and will eventually decompose. There aren't gravestones, only a map if you want to know where the bodies are.

  1. Jeanne M Zieger's Avatar Jeanne M Zieger

    So in this same issue there is an article "Losing our Religion" regarding the projected decline in Christians in the US. I believe this composting uproar of the Catholic Church is a perfect example of why this trend is gaining speed with the "none" as they were referred too. If we want the younger generations to embrace some or our beliefs, then I think it is incumbent for us to embrace some of theirs.

    The most disturbing part is that the Church's stance doesn't seem based in scripture. They are siting that it "“fails to show enough respect for the body of the deceased.” This doesn't sound like an argument based in religious belief. So I have to ask why? I have personally checked into a "green burial" in the past where your body is clothed in pure cotton, your casket is made from untreated plain wood. It is a type compost, but the process takes 20 to 25 years to complete.

    I say "lets worry less about matter's like this Catholic Church" and let's concentrate on trying to help all our fellow people out there that have been suffering and need grace.

  1. J Orville Adams's Avatar J Orville Adams

    The circle of life - plants receive energy from the sun and carbon (CO2) from the soil and air to produce glucose, humans, and the other animals, consume that glucose and release the energy for our out needs and release CO2. If we turn ourself into compost (which I will now that it is legal) then we complete the circle by giving back to the plants the nutrients and minerals it needs to produce more energy for those behind us.

    Also, there are 8 billion people on the planet. If each one used a casket and not a tomb, that would take up 288 million cubic feet of land. If you include a tomb, you can take that to 0.5 billion cubic feet! That's 390,000 average 12 x 12 rooms, 25 skyscrapers full of caskets. Not very ecological...

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

    I used to think it would be fun to be buried with no coffin or headstone in a random place 5-10 miles out of town. Then, 10+ years later, when digging someone's basement, they'd find you. Who knows what fun you'd cause?

  1. John Casillo's Avatar John Casillo

    HEAVEN HELP US ALL.......NEVER READ SO MANY MORONIC COMMENTS......LETS ALL GO GREEN....AND BE TURNED INTO ST......NO RESPECT FOR THE DEAD....NO RESPECT FOR THE LIVING.....WHY NOT JUST HAVE A GIANT ST HOLE (CALIF WOULD DO) AND BULLDOZE EVERYONE IN....SURELY SOME TYPE OF WEED WOULD GROW ON TOP....REV JOHN

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Why not leave bodies where they fall, and let nature run it's course.

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      John Castillo, "Welcome to the Hotel California"...

    3. Christopher Tracey Robertson's Avatar Christopher Tracey Robertson

      Eat the Deceased? (Women and Children taste the Best) Dissolve the Deceased in Acid? (Hydrochloric Acid) Put the Deceased in Space? (My vote: Dark Side of the Moon) Put the Deceased in an Active Volcano? (Babuyan Claro) Deepest Darkest Ocean? (Mariana Trench)

      Forget about the individual Beliefs. They're Deceased. Can they argue with the disposal process? Can the family argue with the disposal process?

      I rest my case. (The Defense)

      We can now hear final arguments.

      John Casillo... Thank You!

  1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

    I imagine if somebody is going to go for that, despite what their religious Faith may say or dictate, they're probably not a particularly good person in that Faith to begin with.

    I don't mean that they are not a good person period. I mean they're not a good person in the faith. As in not a "GOOD Catholic", to use the subject of the article.

  1. Reverend K's Avatar Reverend K

    Being part of creation sounds great to me.

  1. Richard Darwin Richards's Avatar Richard Darwin Richards

    No surprise here,just look at what California is and what they stand for...

    1. Warren Calvin Wall's Avatar Warren Calvin Wall

      What are your specific objections about this? Just being derogatory about California is not a valid argument. Many forms of disposal of human remains have existed 10s of thousands of years. I don't believe any legitimate forms such as burning, burial, composting (which was the original form of burial before embalming became a thing), mummification, etc... The only form that would have negative consequence is simply dumping or leaving them lie. Especially when disease is involved.

      1. Richard Darwin Richards's Avatar Richard Darwin Richards

        please do not make it look like California actually cares about humanity!

  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    I'm not sure about this one. I prefer cremation and have done so with my parent and brother. Not sure about all the chemicals we would be releasing just the thought of boxes lined up with decomposing bodies sounds creepy to me. Each to his own. My God can put me back together no matter what form I am in.

  1. Minister Carlos Ricardo Walls's Avatar Minister Carlos Ricardo Walls

    I read where this is an alternative to burial.So far three states are considering this service called composting.Everything in our society is trying to upgrade or update in some form or fashion.It remains to be seen if it catches on.

  1. Robert Gagnon's Avatar Robert Gagnon

    I always wanted to be cremated and flushed but my wife won't flush me. Saw it done in a movie way after I thought of it. Everything goes back to where it came from. Give onto God what is Gods'.

  1. Joy 's Avatar Joy

    Before coffins weren't people just buried under dirt and rocks? As long as this doesn't go all out dystopian or bodies pile up above ground, I don't see a problem. Perhaps it is just once again the church trying to control people to do as they say (and not as they do)?

  1. Diane Minna LaFave's Avatar Diane Minna LaFave

    Yes I would consider that I have currently donated my body to science . I like the idea of of being productive even after my death. Besides , I will no longer have need of my body. As far as dignity goes, show me dignity while I'm alive.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I bet not many people are going to want to buy a bag of compost knowing it contains human beings.

    1. Warren Calvin Wall's Avatar Warren Calvin Wall

      I believe this is intended to be a private option not a commercial one. There are not going to be bags of human compost for sale at Home Depot and Lowes. Not even your locally owned garden center. Not really any different than a private, family cemetery on your property.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Another thing they could do with corpses is put them in spaceship, and dump them in outer space, or wait until they get out there, then cremate them, and release the ashes into space. They could even bury them on the moon. That would free up a lot of land on this planet that could be used for other things.

  1. Susan Jeannette Boston's Avatar Susan Jeannette Boston

    We started from dirt and we will return to dirt (Reference) According to Genesis 2:7 "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul"

    I don't see a subject requiring any controversy here do you?

    God bless you and all the lives you touch.

  1. Retta K Mallady's Avatar Retta K Mallady

    I'd love to be composted. The cost needs to come down and they need to offer it at National Cemeteries where our veterans often go. I am a veteran who is soon to go there myself, probably within this next decade, and I don't think they will give me a green burial there. At least I can say no to embalming, as I don't intend to have an open casket funeral, or anything else but a graveside gathering of a very few, as I prefer not to be remembered as dead. Why anyone wants that dead image to be the last image your loved ones see is beyond my comprehension. But, each to their own.

  1. James Bishop Sutton III's Avatar James Bishop Sutton III

    What about "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" and Gen. 3:19 ?

    Personally, I'm being cremated and joining the rest of my family in a crypt.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Personally Sutton, I'm going straight through the light, and won't be looking back (until it's time for my next incarnation), and don't care what happens to my physical shell.

  1. Donald G Magel's Avatar Donald G Magel

    My wife and I are donating our bodies to a University medical school. After that, composting sounds like a good gift to our environment.

    1. Kimberly Anne Allchurch Flick's Avatar Kimberly Anne Allchurch Flick

      I want to check into that too. My concern, is cadavers are usually held in formaldehyde which might make it impossible for composting because of the toxins. Perhaps there are other ways to preserve that aren't toxic?

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        Kimberly, what do you think of taxidermy? Then we can keep our deceased loved ones at home with us.

        1. Guy Sutherland McLaren's Avatar Guy Sutherland McLaren

          I wanted to that to my Dad, make him hold a tray for eternity.

  1. Michael J Kloc's Avatar Michael J Kloc

    At least in the movie Solent Green human remains were turned into edible biscuits to feed the starving population. That has an immediate benefit vs fertilizer but ultimately both are beneficial and useful.

  1. Vicki's Avatar Vicki

    There are also green cemeteries - not all that different from composting and it sounds nicer. In Wisconsin I'm familiar with the Natural Path Cemetery: http://farleycenter.org/nps/ where people are buried in a shroud and will eventually decompose. There aren't gravestones, only a map if you want to know where the bodies are.

  1. Mabh's Avatar Mabh

    I love the idea of my body becoming soil via composting. It seems like the perfect completion of the cycle of my existence. I don’t believe composting is mandatory which leaves the Catholic church and its adherents plenty of choices as to how their remains are dealt with.

  1. Miguel Angel Valentino Quiroz III's Avatar Miguel Angel Valentino Quiroz III

    It is from dust we come, and to dust we shall return ... .. . of course this is below humans, mother earth literally supports the human race as we stand upon her shoulders as she lifts us up to reach for the stars. God exists in all things, therefore becoming compost (should one choose since EVERY human has been gifted with FREE WILL) is the ultimate reunion with God here on Earth, as we also do in Heaven ... .. .

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Miguel, you should have been a poet.

  1. Ella Richards's Avatar Ella Richards

    I have concerns about the water table and soil pollution. They are already finding our drinking water contaminated with prescription drugs and this will add the unknown vaccine residuals to our soil (gardens) and ground water.

  1. Steven Frederick Gordon's Avatar Steven Frederick Gordon

    I object not on the basis of dignity but on the basis of disease. Some human pathogens, such as prions, can persist in the soil for decades if not longer. In the UK more rose gardeners got Mad Cow than beef eaters because they use bone meal. Iowa, a farm state, for example, requires a concrete vault around a coffin.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    It would be better to save the earth, and throw those corpses out with the trash.

  1. Christine Nolte Joyce's Avatar Christine Nolte Joyce

    Having grown up on a farm, it has always bothered me that our current burial methods contaminate the ground. I have often thought, that as God's stewards, this practice needed to be stopped and a more organic, holistic approach embraced. I feel it is my moral obligation, in death as in life, to engage in practices of sustainability. I'm am relieved to see this trend emerging. Humanity needs to reevaluate our impacts on this world and change our relationship to be better Stewards of the world that was gifted to us.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      So, as "God's stewards", as you suggest, Christine, should we go back to slavery, and stoning people to death, all condoned by the Biblical God? It's suggested of course that he flooded the earth and, presumably, left those corpses of men, women, and children, to rot into the earth. Are these the types of practices you support as gods steward?

      🦁♥️

      1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        Hey Lionheart :-)! I did inquire where you might be! Good to see you share, my friend. Of course, I disagree with 100%, as usual! LOL

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Of course you do….in fact, you have to, otherwise you’d be disagreeing with the insane practices of your god. 🤷🏼

          Fortunately, there’s still no evidence to show that story is real, along with many others, so you dodged a bullet there, my friend 🤭

          🤭❤️

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      If composted, I bet the best, most potent marijuana plant ever would grow out of me!

      1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        Carl Bernard Elfstrom, have you heard of AA and NA?

    3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Christine, my great grandparents on my mother's side of the family ( Pistone and Maniscalco) owned farms in Alta Loma, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if some bodies were composted in their rich, fertile fields. I bet you grew up on a very successful farm too.

  1. Thomas P. Davis's Avatar Thomas P. Davis

    As far as embalming a body, my mortician friend said that is only necessary if you not planted before 24 hours to prevent disease. Jews I understand are buried within that period. He said he was to because he was not going to let any one poke him full of holes to insert the fluid. As far as needing a body, what about those incarcerated in furnaces during the war, or burned up with the space shuttle exploded or eaten by lions etc. My friend said your gone in approx. six months if not embalmed other wise you will live on forever to be cut open in some biology class later in life or might even be seen on an episode of CSI. The only purpose of the vault is to keep you from leeching into the soil. Well they have been telling us for years the amount we pee and poop into the environment every year is catastrophic. In the end if we make the correct choices we all get new bodies any way.

  1. Eva Harvey's Avatar Eva Harvey

    It's the least we can do to help a planet we destroyed. Give back, for real. Compost is the same as "ashes to ashes " after all.

  1. Clayton Lee Pratt's Avatar Clayton Lee Pratt

    Yes I would 100%.good for the environment. Exactly the opposite of burial or cremation.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Since God knows the future, if he didn't want us to destroy this planet he shouldn't have put us on it. Now that we're here let's pray to Bacchus, party hardy, and let it rip (before the whole shit house 🏠 goes up in smoke (to quote a famous Morrison)!!!

      1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

        Carl Bernard Elfstrom, you may think you are funny, but you forget that God respects our free will.

  1. David Messenger's Avatar David Messenger

    I work in the hog industry, raising around 6000 finisher hogs at a time. My boss also works at the dairy here, that milks up to 1300 Holsteins. We compost all of our dead stock, burying it over with straw and manure. It's actually a very eco friendly way of disposing of anything dead. There is virtually no smell if everything is buried over properly, or spread of disease, and everything goes back to the land in a few weeks.

  1. Dawn Maniccia's Avatar Dawn Maniccia

    I feel the body's owner and immediate family should be able to decide what they want done with the remains. My Body My Choice right? Or that only applies to OTHER things.

  1. Howard Ellis's Avatar Howard Ellis

    if you are not in your comments get dumped so why 要有點心

  1. Norma Battes's Avatar Norma Battes

    "Log-in to track new comments this blog post." Spelling and Grammar Police wanted in isle #3.

  1. Norma Battes's Avatar Norma Battes

    "Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email" Excuse me Mr. Moderator, what exactly is the difference here? I mean, especially since to send this I need to click on "Post Comment". Thank you.

  1. Norma Battes's Avatar Norma Battes

    test

  1. Christopher Tracey Robertson's Avatar Christopher Tracey Robertson

    Eat the Deceased? (Women and Children taste the Best) Dissolve the Deceased in Acid? (Hydrochloric Acid) Put the Deceased in Space? (My vote: Dark Side of the Moon) Put the Deceased in an Active Volcano? (Babuyan Claro) Deepest Darkest Ocean? (Mariana Trench)

    Forget about the individual Beliefs. They're Deceased. Can they argue with the disposal process? Can the family argue with the disposal process?

    I rest my case. (The Defense)

    We can now hear final arguments.

  1. Mabh's Avatar Mabh

    Comment removed by user.

  1. Dawn-Marie Tol's Avatar Dawn-Marie Tol

    Comment removed by user.

    1. Richard Darwin Richards's Avatar Richard Darwin Richards

      California has Christians???

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        Richard, I hope not. California seems like a much better place than that.

        1. Richard Darwin Richards's Avatar Richard Darwin Richards

          California will be better a better place once it is returned to Mexico.

          1. Norma Battes's Avatar Norma Battes

            "America would be a better place once Europeans go back to Europe." -- The Real Native Americans

            1. Richard Darwin Richards's Avatar Richard Darwin Richards

              not for the native americans that these native americans displaced. we must go back 60 thousand years and find out who the real native americans are.

              1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

                Richard Darwin Richards, you mean the Mormons?

              2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

                Hey Richard you mean the 10 Lost Tribes?

          2. Norma Battes's Avatar Norma Battes

            Many feel America will be a better place once Europeans return to Europe.

            1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

              Norma Battes, who are the Europeans? Those with European passports?   

              1. Norma Battes's Avatar Norma Battes

                Ummm, never thought of that Pastor Day. How would anyone know a European without their passport? Excellent thinking.

                enjoy your weekend

  1. Norma Battes's Avatar Norma Battes

    Ahh, I get your point. But native microorganism started much earlier than that.

    take care

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    See, the drought out there is all because those States and acted this. God is punishing them with a drought.

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    I would think the human body is far too full of pollutants and preservatives to allow back into the environment untransformed.

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