Dead on

The Walrus - - LETTERS -

Ku­dos to your mag­a­zine for tak­ing a po­ten­tially nau­se­at­ing topic (“Dis­solv­ing the Dead,” March) and, by writ­ing about it clearly and log­i­cally, mak­ing it seem ac­tu­ally quite rea­son­able — not yucky at all. I’m now re­con­sid­er­ing my de­vo­tion to cre­ma­tion: it ap­pears that there is a bet­ter way.

Fred­er­ick Sweet Toronto, ON

@wal­rus­magazine @gdbayliss @roumieu Dis­solv­ing the Dead is the creepi­est ar­ti­cle for pre-bed­time read­ing. Thanks for giv­ing me night­mares. — @pjen­mis­sis­sauga

I’m hav­ing a hard time ac­cept­ing that the process of dis­solv­ing bod­ies is ­sav­ing the Earth, though I ap­pre­ci­ate that it’s much greener than cre­ma­tion and avoids the pol­lu­tion that re­sults from em­balm­ing.

Ti­betans leave bod­ies out on the moun­tains un­til the bones are picked clean. Some In­dige­nous peo­ples once put their dead on plat­forms in trees. Men­non­ites I know ­es­chew em­balm­ing, wrap corpses in cloth, and bury them in sim­ple graves. Surely any of these op­tions is greener than a process in­volv­ing pipes, timers, chem­i­cals, heat, and pres­sure.

Donna Ste­wart Van­cou­ver, BC

Read­ing Graeme Bayliss’s shud­der-in­duc­ing ar­ti­cle on dis­pos­ing of the dead, I was re­minded of Ham­let : “Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt.” I do hope po­ten­tial se­rial killers aren’t tak­ing notes.

Ge­off Rytell Toronto, ON

I loved the @wal­rus­magazine’s piece on bio-cre­ma­tion. Wouldn’t rec­om­mend read­ing it with break­fast. — @e_e­mur­phy

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