In so many ways, pets are part of your family. They’re your constant companions, and they eat and sleep by your side, keep you entertained, and comfort you when you’re down. So when a beloved pet passes away, you naturally want to treat them with the same respect you’d show a family member.
When a pet passes away, there are two primary options: burial and cremation. Which method is right for you depends on a number of factors, including your personal preferences and whether you can secure a proper, authorized burial site (if you’d like to inter your pet on your own property, check with local authorities first to be sure this is allowed). But cremation might be an easier choice, especially if you opt for “green cremation”.
Many pet owners choose cremation for many reasons. Sometimes it’s simply because they can’t bury a pet in a pet cemetery or at home, especially in large cities where most people don’t even have yards. Others choose cremation because they want to keep their pet’s cremains in a decorative urn or box in their home as a memorial or reminder of a cherished relationship.
In the most primitive sense, cremation by fire has been used for thousands of years, with modern crematories coming into existence in the late 1700s. Today, more Americans are being cremated than buried, and that percentage continues to grow. Pet cremations have become more popular in this century, and there are now more than 800 crematories and cemeteries devoted solely to pets in the United States. Additionally, some “human” crematories also extend their services to pets.
A new kind of cremation
While traditional cremation involves intense heat and vaporization to reduce remains to ash and bone fragments, a new type of cremation process achieves the same result using water instead of fire. Aquamation — which is alternatively called resomation, alkaline hydrolysis, green cremation, or bio-cremation — was first used by the Mayo Clinic in the 1990s for the final disposition of bodies donated to the clinic for research purposes. This method was adopted largely because it is not a combustive process, and unlike cremation by fire, aquamation does not produce air pollutants or toxic gases. The environmentally-friendly nature of aquamation has made this an attractive option for many people, and for their pets.
At businesses like VIP Aquamation which offer pet aquamation services, this process is more like natural decomposition and it’s more eco-friendly than any other disposition method. Here are some facts about the process:
- Aquamation uses one-twentieth of the energy used for conventional cremation (decreasing electricity by 66 percent and natural gas by 90 percent).
- The process produces a carbon footprint that is one-tenth of what is produced by conventional cremation.
- It reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent.
- It Is 100 percent mercury-free.
- Aquamation breaks down chemicals and viruses into basic nutritive non-toxic elements at the end of the process. The final product is even suitable to be used as a natural fertilizer, should you choose to disperse your pet’s ashes.
Finding aquamation facilities
Aquamation has been available for animal disposition for nearly two decades, but the number of facilities offering this service for pets has only recently grown to over 100 in fifteen states across the US. If you feel that aquamation is an option for your beloved pet, look for a facility where the procedure is performed by licensed professionals. Also, pet cremation of either method can be performed individually or in combination with other animals for cost-saving purposes, so be sure to specify your preferences.