Change rarely happens overnight, nor is it ever the result of just one person. The changes we hope for the world can occur when each of us contributes to a common goal. Such has been the case for the Green Pet-Burial Society in 2018. Here are some highlights:
Reimagine 2018, San Francisco – April 17, 2018. We were invited to create an event as part of a week-long community effort called Reimagine End of Life featuring over 150 events across San Francisco. Ours was the only nonprofit dedicated exclusively to grief for our animal companions. Entitled ‘Honoring our Pets,’ we inaugurated a participatory, large-scale, public, kinetic art piece at beautiful Ocean Beach. We also conducted participant interviews, which will become an integral part of this project, Reimagine held another event in New York City, but we could not attend due to lack of funds.
Remembering Animals: Rituals, Artifacts and Narratives in Contemporary Art – February 10, 2018. This art exhibition at the Art Galleries at California State University, Northridge looks “at the ways in which contemporary artists contemplate and investigate aspects of animal death.” Curated by photographer Julia Schlosser, many of the artists featured treat an animal’s death with great poignancy. A few manipulated the remains of animals and presented it as art. While the Green Pet-Burial Society promotes the connection with Nature in life and death, and supports the return of bodies to the Earth upon an animal’s death, we are always encouraged to witness serious thought and discussion given to humanity’s long, complex, and troubled histories with animal remains. Julia invited us to leave our postcards and brochures at the exhibition’s information table. Thank you Julia! She also created a digital memorial page entitled Anilum at https://anilum.art/
L.A. Nature Fest – March 18, 2018. Each year, the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles hosts the L.A. Nature Fest to explore the wild side of L.A. We could not afford to secure a table, but Alison Stern Simard, co-founder of Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife (CLAW), who also works for L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz (a friend of animals and our Society), supports our efforts to promote conservation whole-family cemeteries, and graciously invited us to put our information on CLAW’s table. Thank you Alison!
The Order of the Good Death – we are honored to have been listed in The Year of Action Resource Guide (February 10, 2018).
petMD featured our work in their column, Eco-Friendly Pet Burials (August 3, 2018).
We are beginning to see increased attention from several blogs. Here’s what we’ve found thus far:
March 26, 2018
“Thinking About Having a ‘Green’ Funeral? Here’s What you need to Know” by Richard Wagner, in The Amateur’s Guide to Death & Dying.
April 20, 2017
“My dog just died — what do I do?” (Part 1) by Namrata Kolla, in The Forever Spot by Coeio.
“Legally burying pets & the Green Pet Burial Society” in The Forever Spot by Coeio.
We added a new whole-family conservation cemetery to our directory – good news for North Carolinians!
We have been notified of other cemeteries and will add them soon.
Caracol Cruzando, directed by Pamela Maria Chavez, 2018. We added this moving short film to our video gallery. It was an official selection of CAIF (Central American International Film Festival) 2018, as well as the 2018 PBS Online Film Festival. Simply yet beautifully drawn, it illustrates which lives are valued and which are not in society, through an interspecies meditation on life, loss, and politics:
Anais, a young Costa Rican girl, faces the hardest decision she’s ever had to make: should she sneak her best friend and pet turtle Tiku across the U.S. Miami border, or should she leave him behind? Anais’ relationship to the natural world around guides her through this heart wrenching decision, and the consequences that follow.
Be sure to visit the other videos, artwork, and poetry in our Art Galleries.
How you can help
While we continue to expand our influence and provide critical resources to others, there is still much to do. In addition to working to amend state laws to allow whole-family burial practices, we hope to raise funds to attend events and conferences (like Reimagine) that address death and dying, develop new educational programs, and address the ongoing need to find appropriate transportation options to bring pet remains home for burial. As with other nonprofits, we rely on the support of kind-hearted people who believe that our animals are family, and who want to see this sentiment represented in funeral options. Support comes in a variety of ways:
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
- Share our information with friends and family
- Volunteer to help us spread the word, fundraise, and change policies
- Make a donations today vis-a-vis our host organization, Family Spirals.
Wishing you a joyous 2019!
Founder and President
images: Franz Marc. Siberian Sheepdogs. c.1910. oil on canvas.
80.33 x 113.98 cm. National Gallery of Art – Washington DC.
still from the film Caracol Cruzando, by Pamela Maria Chavez.