California Considering turning Dead People into Fertilizer

California cemeteries could soon be facing competition. Lawmakers are considering a bill that seeks to make human composting an option in the state. If the legislation is signed into law, Californians will be given the option to turn their dead loved ones into fertilizer through a process called Natural Organic Reduction. It involves placing a body in a reusable container, covering it with wood chips and closing it. After 30 days or so, the body is transformed into nutrient-rich soil. It doesn’t use up land like cemeteries do and it’s better for the environment than cremation is. Supporters of the measure say families can use the soil to plant a tree or garden to serve as a memorial for their departed loved ones. However, not everyone is on board with the idea. Among the bill’s opponents is the Catholic Church, which criticizes the process as an “undignified” method to dispose of those who have passed on. “We believe that the ‘transformation’ of the remains would create an emotional distance rather than a reverence for them,” says California Catholic Conference rep Steve Pehanich.

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