This has been an excellent year for press coverage of our work. This past May we were featured on NPR. Most recently, The Atlantic Magazine discussed our promotion of whole-family cemeteries (the article was also shared on MSN.com). Additionally, Natural Transitions Magazine highlighted the growing shift toward green burials for pets. More press coverage will be coming soon – we’ll keep you posted!
The Atlantic on Whole-Family Cemeteries
The Atlantic Magazine’s article, The Movement to Bury Pets Alongside People, discussed the psychosocial drive to keep families ‘together forever’ (our new tagline). Journalist Sonya Vatomsky had wanted to publish an article about our work for some time and was finally given the greenlight to do so. She accurately represents the intense desire to keep families together in whole-family cemeteries, despite legal concerns. Here’s an excerpt:
“There are just numerous stories of people sneaking the cremains [i.e., created remains] of a beloved pet into the casket of somebody who has passed,” Greene says. “And the question is, why should people have to sneak around at a period of grief and bereavement?”
Greene wants laws that allow individual cemeteries to decide for themselves whether they want to offer the option of burying animals alongside their owners. But states have been taking a largely piecemeal approach to legalization…Greene has contacted more than 20 different legislators in his home state of California, and says many told him they would be willing to support legislation but wouldn’t introduce it. “This just wasn’t a priority,” he explains.
Whether or not it should be depends, in part, on what people consider to be the role of pets in their lives. “It was clear to me from the beginning that people consider their pets part of their family,” says Ellen Macdonald, the owner of Eloise Woods Community Natural Burial Park in Cedar Creek, Texas. “For some people, pets are their only family.”
Read the entire article here.
Green Pet-Burials Gains Attention
Natural Transitions Magazine is dedicated to illustrating an “acceptance of death, loss, and grief as a natural part of life.” This past July they dedicated an entire issue on the emotions and mourning practices regarding the passing of a pet. One article, Trotting Lightly at the End: Our Pets’ Final Paw Prints, features a brief discussion of our efforts to educate and promote green cemeteries.
The author subtly develops an environmentally-friendly point-of-view in the way she structures the piece, ending with a discussion of conservation cemeteries. Here’s an excerpt:
More and more families are opting to lessen their pet’s carbon pawprint by choosing natural burial for their animal companions. Eric Greene founded the Green Pet-Burial Society in 2010 and estimates over 500 commercial pet cemeteries now exist in the US—with most favoring underground entombment in styrene plastic caskets—rather than a green burial…”consumers are wanting more eco-friendly choices” [says Greene}. These might include such practices as opting for a biodegradable casket or natural-fiber shroud, non-toxic paints or dyes for decoration, avoiding harmful fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, and using a simple native stone as a memorial.
Greene says he has received lots of interest about green, conservation pet cemeteries. “A conservation cemetery is not only about finding less environmentally damaging ways to dispose of bodies,” he says, “but also a way of connecting with the Earth, connecting with our heritage, our past, our families, our community. And, of course, connecting with our animals.”
Support this Important Work
The Green Pet-Burial Society (GPBS) is hosted by Family Spirals®, a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of GPBS and Family Spirals® must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
image: 2012, Misty Walk by Steve Wilson, on flickr