Food Chain

—Resistance is futile.


Birthdays have a way of making us think of deathdays, whether we want to or not. One does lead to the other, however, in a manner that is truly inexorable. As the bible puts it, "It is appointed unto man once to die."

What the bible does not say, though, is what precisely we are supposed to do with our remains when that fateful moment arrives. Not that we of course are going to do anything with them. But we can leave instructions for our family on the matter.

I have held the opinion for practically my entire life (since I was in my twenties) that human remains should simply be re-inserted into the food chain. I have never understood this business of burying bodies six-feet under the ground inside of wooden boxes! What is with that?

Of course I think I know the answer to this question. It is to protect them from being ravaged by carrion birds and other wild animals. But I don't understand that. Why do we feel some compulsion to preserve a dead body? It's gone. The life force has departed, headed for greener pastures, or another assignment.

I repeat the question: why the obsession over preserving an inanimate body?

Mother Nature preserves nothing. She has developed carrion, wild animals and microorganisms to feed on dead matter.

It has become a virtual tenet of my personal faith that this business of refusing to re-insert our bodies into the food chain is just flat out wrong. It verges on the sinful. We are literally spitting in the face of Mother Nature.

Even God Himself suggested this when he said "Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return." He did not say anything about returning to that dust inside of a wooden box buried six-feet under the ground. He also said nothing about reducing it to ashes by burning it up in a fire.

God seemed to imply that the return to dust is involuntary, something over which we have no say-so. There is a natural process in place designed to take care of such eventualities.

Unlike most other human beings, I have no problem with accepting my place in Nature. I regard it as perfectly natural to decay after death. It's just the way it is (the way that God made it).

I also define health in terms of its alignment (or harmony) with nature. I therefore regard efforts to slow that decay, or otherwise interfere with it, as unnatural and a form of mental illness. Yes, we are sick for trying to preserve dead bodies. It is a symptom of a social illness.

I refuse to succumb to this sickness. I insist on allowing my remains to be turned over to a natural process, one that neither rushes that process (by fire), or tries to slow it down (with formaldehyde). Let it be. As an Eastern strain of wisdom might put it, Go with the flow (the flow of nature).