Elodie Jacquier-Laforge, vice-president of the French Parliament and member of the party Mouvement Démocratique ( MODEM ),, has introduced a proposal of law regarding the legalisation and further experimental development of humusation, or composting of corpses, following the example of the United States where this method is reportedly already applied to human remains in certain states and in Belgium where the method is, as she says, in this stage only applied to animals.
She even made a promotional video about it ( see below ) in which she explains with a smile why this is so much better for nature.
Reportedly, both cremations and regular burials are incredibly polluting. Cremation is said to take up 3% of France's total CO2 emissions and a burial as much as 900 kg of CO2. Any proof of these claims is, as usual, not provided.
In humusation, the corpse is placed in a container where a number of unnamed bacteria are added, causing the body to digest through all the micro-organisms and turn into compost. This is said to be very good for nature.
Some further research reveals that humusation has already taken hold in Belgium in 2018. Flanders even has a dedicated website promoting this ecological method of burial with the slogan " humusation : giving life after death by reviving the earth "
Elodie Jacquier-Laforge's claim that humusation in Belgium would be limited to animals is therefore incorrect. Humusation of human remains is actively promoted by - at least - Flanders. They provide in each region a "metamorphosis garden " that is completely enclosed. Each corpse would be given 6m2 of land reserved for 12 months.
Under this process, the deceased is wrapped without embalming in a simple bio-degradable cloth carried by a reusable basket or coffin. The body is placed on a 20-cm-high vegetable mix and then covered with 2m3 of the same mix.
This heap is then covered with straw, dead leaves and cut grass. After about 3 months, the bones are already loose. Sworn in "humusators" are trained to remove metals and other prosthetics to then grind the bones and teeth of the corps into powder that is again mixed with the heap (yikes ! ). After 12 months, the remains have turned into humus from which the family can dispose of 15 litres for planting an ever-visiting tree in a memorial forest.and regenerating the most polluted soils or planting disused sites.
What is particularly cynical is that on the same page of the website www.humusatie.be there is also an article on the cleansing power of trees.
" Trees are more efficient than machines. The results of a recent scientific study" show that planting more trees near polluting businesses and industries can make the air cleaner by 27%."
Really? Are they only finding that out now ? And should humans now start solving the CO2 problem they allegedly cause during their life time by serving as compost for trees after their death?
Elodie Jacquier-Laforge's discourse is almost identical as the text that can be read on the site www.humusation.be. Once again, it seems as if different countries are using the same playbook. This scenario is frighteningly reminiscent of the 1973 film Solyent Green with the difference that in that script, humans turned into biscuits for the plebs while in the present scenario, humans turn into compost, the fertiliser of the future.