We Compost Trash, Not Our Mothers

The New York State Legislature will soon vote on whether composting (like we do with our kitchen waste) of human remains will become legal. If it passes (sadly, that seems likely), New York will become the third state to allow this desecration.

The Morte Girls want to go on record as to our disgust. The human body is sacred, and this is a sacrilege. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, of the Diocese of Brooklyn, thinks so too.

“I visited Auschwitz a couple times. Always the guards will tell you, people ask, what happened to the remains? Well, you know what happened? The farmers came from around and used it as a fertilizer,” said Bishop DiMarizio in an interview.

In a CBS newscast in late May, John Heyer, who runs a funeral home in Brooklyn, pushed back at the absurd claim that “we’re going to run out of land,” made by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who co-sponsored the legislation.

“There’s enough room to bury bodies for the next 200 years at least,” Heyer aptly noted.

Paulin went on to say that “we’re going to be using land for purposes that maybe we don’t have to.”

You mean by denying countless people the opportunity to visit and honor their deceased loved ones!?

She also added this comment, which frankly reads like satire: “and then that dirt can be used by the family. You can bring it home and use it as fertilizer.”

Sure, Mom can fertilize the tomatoes. How insensitive and heartless is this woman!?

To weigh in on this issue, CBS managed to find a funeral director, named Amy, (it pains us to call her a funeral director — she surely does not share our concerns or speak for funeral service) hell bent on fostering delusional opinions on the public.(Perhaps CBS should have factored in her limited experience or lack of a basic understanding of funeral service.) She claimed that during the pandemic “families drove hours to find a grave.” Say what!? She also claimed there were waits at the cemetery and high costs.” The costs were the same as pre-pandemic and the waits were not at the cemetery. The wait was for a burial or cremation date, due to limited staffing. In addition to deriding the choice of families to have embalming and the casket of their choice (in many cases, of their tradition), Amy makes the absurd and baseless claim that “more have been recently asking for an option known as “natural organic reduction.” No family would ever know to use those terms.

The comments of Paulin and Amy in this broadcast are not only exceedingly judgmental, and a slap in the face to the multitude of families to whom funerals mean the world, they smack of racism and cultural insensitivity. The majority of our African-American, West Indian, Hispanic, Greek, and other immigrant communities are steeped in long- established funeral traditions, for which they have great respect. You are now essentially telling them that what they have so reverently and lovingly done for their dead is environmentally unfriendly, and a waste of space.

By the way, the cost for composting alone is estimated at $5,500.00. Factor in the rest of the services and you’re well over the cost of a traditional funeral.

Here’s an excellent article in the Tablet about the Catholic Church’s stance on composting. John Heyer weighs in knowledgeably on behalf of funeral service.

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