Pop Culture: ‘Bacon Coffin’ & ‘Dead Dogs’

by Eric Greene

Marketing bacon and hot dogs with coffins? Sometimes we’re tempted to say that certain things just don’t warrant comment.  However, students of popular culture, animal studies and/or death studies may find this post particularly useful when illustrating cultural values and ideas about animals, food, death and humor.

Below are two examples of businesses mixing the accoutrements of human funerals with meat; by so doing, they focus our attention on the particular products they sell – bacon and hot dogs – and the bodies they come from. The unexamined words, images and materials that we use and encounter shape our cultural values, experiences and understanding of the world, and can sometimes create great distance among people, as well as between humans and other species.

“Bacon Coffin”

Bacon Coffin © 2012 J&D FoodsJust before April 1 (a.k.a., April Fool’s Day), a news item about a new bacon-themed coffin received a fair amount of media attention with many respondents inquiring if it was “real” or a hoax.  It was created and marketed by Seattle-based J&D Foods (although more accurately, the coffin markets them). They explain that it was created for “the bacon fan who loves bacon to death.” (see video below) Continue reading

Arts: “The Mantis Parable” on Easter and Passover

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I just viewed The Mantis Parable (2006), the first animated short by filmmaker Josh Staub.

It is a perfect short film for the Passover and Easter holidays (which also coincided with Buddha’s birthday this year). It’s a story of life in the face of death; control over our own bodies and stories; dyspathy, compassion and redemption; liberation from captivity; and accepting the risks of sacrifice to help another. Since its release, this film has gained international acclaim at film festivals worldwide.

If you know of other works of art we should consider including on our Art webpage, please let us know. Enjoy!

Proposed Changes to Green Cemetery Certification

5634526557_1bbb26f024At the end of 2011, the Green Pet-Burial Society submitted a proposal to the Green Burial Council (GBC) on its certification standards for green burial grounds. When our Society was founded, GBC had four certificate levels; then effective on 1/1/11, GBC consolidated its standards into its current three levels.

In thinking about how these standards might apply to pet cemeteries as well as human cemeteries, we carefully analyzed GBC’s standards and proposed some modifications, including reinstituting a four-standard system along with some additional recognitions. (Note: these two organizations are independent from one another.) Continue reading