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The author's point in this essay is quite clear from the start.She discusses the practice of embalming, the secrecy behind it, and describes in detail how the procedure works.
Cremation is a popular alternative to burial but it also impacts negatively on the environment.
“Green burial” is now advocated as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional burial and cremation.
That means the body is to be respected and the corpse is not a worthless container vacated by the essence of life. The modern acceptance that the mind alone is the seat of identity explains the general acceptance of cremation.
I understand and respect why many people choose cremation but I agree with Saad that we should not allow cremation to drive cemeteries out of existence and to hide death from us. This gives a whole new meaning to the popular quotation from Shakespeare’s Macbeth – “Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it”.
Several steps can be taken to mitigate the effect of standard burial on the environment.
You can choose not to have your body embalmed and you can be buried in a biodegradable casket or burial shroud that quickly breaks down into simple chemicals, easily absorbed into the natural environment.
As Saad points out, the tombstones of the dead stand among us as they themselves once did but if cemeteries vanish we will forget the dead and forget to consider their wishes and intentions.
We will forget that the community belongs to them as it does to us and to those who are yet to come.
Burial leaves a small but significant footprint on the natural environment.
Consider the various steps – embalming the corpse, sturdy coffin (possibly lacquered), tombstone and manicured grave site.