THE ONE CERTAINTY IN LIFE IS THAT YOU WILL DIE. WHAT’S LESS CERTAIN IS HOW YOU WILL BE BURIED. WITH TRADITIONAL METHODS EXACTING A HUGE ENVIRONMENTAL TOLL, NEW OPTIONS INCLUDE ETERNAL REEFS, BODY FARMS, EVEN A TRANSFORMATION INTO RECORDS OR DIAMONDS. HUSTLER EXPLORES YOUR AFTERLIFE ALTERNATIVES.
Funeral rites vary from country to country. In some cultures death is treated as a celebration. Take funeral strippers for example. Yes, you read that right. In Taiwan it’s not uncommon to hire the services of girls to celebrate the passing of a loved one and entertain. When Taiwanese county council speaker Tung Hsiang died in December 2016, a procession involving 50 pole dancers, garish Jeeps, pop music and puppets made its way through the streets of Chiayi.
Western models have traditionally been more somber, traumatic and challenging affairs for the bereaved. They’re also costly, with the average American funeral totaling anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000, and that’s without frills.
Then there’s the hidden cost of how we manage our dead: We’re running out of places to go and making a mess of the environment in the process. Every year 55.3 million people die worldwide. That’s a lot of mounting corpses, and that number is only going to grow, with the current rate of 131.4 million annual births.
Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released in February 2015, show that as a result of traditional burials, the average U.S. citizen is exposed to “approximately 265 environmental chemicals, including heavy metals and pesticides, that are later released into the environment as a body decomposes.”
WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND