Someday, I could be a houseplant


First, I’d have to become a corpse, though…so no hurry. No hurry at all. Here’s a video about “natural organic reduction”, or corpse composting, which is a pretty cool option. The body is put into a box for a month, breaks down, gets turned into soil, and then can be used for soil restoration, or just for gardening, if you’d like.

Unfortunately, there’s only a few states that allow this legally. My home state of Washington — even my home town south of Seattle — have facilities for this, so maybe I’ll be able to take advantage of it someday.

I’m thinking, maybe a spider plant?

Comments

  1. mightybigcar says

    Go for the great outdoors, be a douglas fir, and fill your branches with spiders and Pacific Northwest Tree Octopuses.

  2. garnetstar says

    There was once an option to be bured in a sort of composter bubble with a tree seed, and you could grow into a tree! I think I’d like that, although I don’t know if it’s still around.

  3. R. L. Foster says

    I’m all for it. If I had the option I’d like my composted remains to be used to grow a nice crop of sativa. Then my grand kids could proudly say, “I’m smoking grandpa!”

  4. PaulBC says

    I’m in favor of environmentally friendly funeral practices, but there’s something that rubs me the wrong way about how this is promoted. I am thinking more about an FB post for something like garnetstar@2 mentioned than this YouTube (which I haven’t watched).

    First off, I intend to stick around for a while. I can’t guarantee it, but if you try to tell me how “beautiful” it would be to grow a tree out of compost made from my corpse, I’m gonna say that continuing to live is just a whole lot more beautiful.

    Second, if you want to recycle, start out by making sure you’re registered as an organ donor. That compost is no more valuable to a plant than the same weight in cow pies, but your solid organs will save lives and people are desperately waiting for one.

    Third, (and I know I don’t need to explain this to a biologist). You don’t “become” the plant. You stopped being you when brain activity ceased, and all that matter was borrowed anyway, some of it rather recently. Definitely give it back. Don’t seal it up in a box. But spare me the romanticizing.

    The plant will just be a plant, and the connection to your life is as meaningless as some oxygen I breathe that might have been exhaled as CO2 by Elvis some decades back.

    On a different note, I always liked the idea of towers of silence. Carrion birds will get a lot more direct use out of all those organic molecules you made than a tree, which just needs the minerals. (Though I suspect that a modern human may be too toxic to introduce into the ecosystem like that.)

  5. Walter Solomon says

    On a different note, I always liked the idea of towers of silence. Carrion birds will get a lot more direct use out of all those organic molecules you made than a tree, which just needs the minerals. (Though I suspect that a modern human may be too toxic to introduce into the ecosystem like that.)

    I don’t believe this is true. Firstly, modern humans haven’t changed much in hundreds of thousands of years and I don’t believe any dietary differences that have occurred have any effect on the birds. Secondly, there is plenty of grisly footage online of this practice being performed in what looks like the Asian Steppes.

  6. nomadiq says

    My only il-informed opposition to this is it may be expensive to do? Somewhat time and labor intensive to monitor your decomposition, execute security for the facility because there are just always some weirdos out there etc. Cremation is so finally and done, but energy intensive.

    Can’t I just get some big rocks tied around my feet and dump me off Hawaii somewhere? I love the pacific….. ugh half my body is almost certain to wash ashore and ruin someone’s wedding photos.

    Is there just no elegant way to go?

  7. zagnut says

    Both of my parents opted to give their bodies to the local medical school for anatomy lessons for students. They have a nice ceremony for the families of the donors. I’ve always been a “throw my carcass in the trash”type of guy, but I guess if a future surgeon can get some experience using my body before they operate on people who could live that is probably the better choice.

  8. zagnut says

    I mean, heck, I’d be open to donating to a necrophilic organization if the local medical school doesn’t want me. It seems like a shame to let my body go to waste once I’m done with it.

  9. consciousness razor says

    “Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again.”

  10. davidc1 says

    @5 Jebus what a grouch .
    @11 I had considered that ,but I think I would die of embarrassment if they refused my
    body for some reason ,besides they don’t accept bodies if you have had an operation .
    So I think a simple cremation ,no service ,and the remains spread over my parents grave .
    Plus my name added to their head stone .

  11. zagnut says

    @15 davidc1

    Yeah, I get you, though they took my Dad who had open heart surgery and my mom who had a mastectomy, so I think there is some flexibility there.

    I’m anti-sacred through and through so I really don’t care what happens to my flesh after I die. I understand my daughter and friends might have feelings about it, but I’d prefer to donate my body to “science” or a “sex party” and let my loved ones have a beach barbecue and talk about how awesome I was.

  12. zagnut says

    The nicest part about the whole thing is when the body is donated no money changes hands. I liked that. You donate the body, you get back ashes in a cardboard box in a tasteful velvet pouch. It seems vaguely civilized.

  13. zagnut says

    Sorry, it is actually a plastic container inside a tasteful velvet pouch. I can’t explain the error, but I do apologize for it. There is a little label on top with the name of the deceased. I feel it could have been a little more classy, but, you know, science.

  14. PaulBC says

    nomadiq@10

    Can’t I just get some big rocks tied around my feet and dump me off Hawaii somewhere?

    Didn’t you get the memo? Rising sea levels are caused by dropping rocks in the water. Talk about environmentally unfriendly!

  15. nomadiq says

    PaulBC@15

    How could I be so stupid? Perhaps my body could be buried on land but covered in coral rock so some billionaire somewhere can feel less guilty about putting another yacht in the ocean!

  16. unclefrogy says

    well that service I am pretty sure costs more then a simple no frills cremation service would charge.
    I do not know what kind of service and such I would prefer to happen when I finally stop, but I do not feel like it is any of my business, the only thing I can say is don’t waste any more money then is required by law for the disposal of human remains.

  17. PaulBC says

    davidc1@15

    @5 Jebus what a grouch .

    What can I tell you? Death puts a damper on my normally cheery demeanor. Coffin, urn, or tree doesn’t change the salient facts.

  18. brightmoon says

    I’ve always liked the idea of pushing up daisies but I’d prefer tall sedums . Matrona is nice!

  19. birgerjohansson says

    I will come back as a triffid. The idea cheers me up and negates the, er, negative side of mortality.
    .
    Nagging about GAM- the episode was sorta relevant since Tammy Bakker died some time ago.
    The AIDS victim she interviewed after breaking up with her grifter/rapist/convicted felon/ televangelist husband is still alive, BTW.
    And a great reminder of how fucked up the 1980s were. Reagan’s indifference to HIV killed A LOT of people.

  20. anat says

    nomadiq@10: I think the simplest is to go for Green Burial. Your body still takes up space, but eventually rots properly, contributes to the soil (albeit in a limited, predefined location).

  21. John Morales says

    Would have to sift the remains for metal and plastic and ceramic bits… cyborgs, you know.

  22. fusilier says

    davidc1 @15 wrote:

    ,besides they don’t accept bodies if you have had an operation .

    That turns out not to be the case.

    I don’t know about other states, but in Indiana, the state Department of Health accepts cadaver donations and apportions them to medical schools and allied health programs. I taught Human Anatomy and Physiology at a community college for 25 years and we had any number of cadavers with obvious removals: mastectomies, hysterectomies, prostatectomies, appendectomies, et myriad cetera.

    Let’s Just Say (tm from another list) that I’m getting a tattoo that says “Yes, I WILL be on the final.”

    fusilier, wearing his Associate Professor (retired) hat

    James 2:24

  23. birgerjohansson says

    What’s the name of that Australian bush whose poison is so painful that people have killed themselves to escape the agony? Just brush past the leaves and the pain will be excruciating.
    I want to come back as that. I want a whole forest of those around my tomb.

  24. davidc1 says

    @23 Sorry about that ,it’s not my death that worries me ,it’s the death of others .
    @30 I am in the UK ,the state it is in is a state of mismanagement .

  25. birgerjohansson says

    In one of Jack Vance’s novels the population of a planet had refined a method to make corpses take up minerals, creating graveyards where the dead served as their own statues.
    That’s creepy, but not creepy enough for me.
    .
    There was an italian cult film in the 1970s where the dead in a particular graveyard came back as zombies after a week, and the sexton -who had an adjacent house- had the extra chore of having to deal with them with his shotgun so he could dig them back again.
    (This gave rise to the Italian Gothic comic book hero Dylan Dog)
    I want a plot at that graveyard, and to be buried in a kevlar costume.

  26. cvoinescu says

    PaulBC @ #5, Walter Solomon @ #8:

    Though I suspect that a modern human may be too toxic to introduce into the ecosystem like that.

    Diclofenac at therapeutic concentrations is very, very deadly to old-world vultures. It’s widely used in farm animals in some parts of Asia and Europe. In some regions of India, where carcass collection and disposal is not a priority, more than 999 in 1000 vultures have died of diclofenac poisoning since it started being used in livestock. New-world vultures are a little less sensitive to it, but it’s still very bad for them. So no arthritic old people for the vultures, please.

  27. cvoinescu says

    PaulBC @ #5, Walter Solomon @ #8:

    Though I suspect that a modern human may be too toxic to introduce into the ecosystem like that.

    Diclofenac at therapeutic concentrations is very, very deadly to old-world vultures. It’s widely used in farm animals in some parts of Asia and Europe. In some regions of India, where carcass collection and disposal is not a priority, more than 999 in 1000 vultures have died of diclofenac poisoning since it started being used in livestock. New-world vultures are a little less sensitive to it, but it’s still very bad for them. So no arthritic old people for the vultures, please.

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