Bio-Friendly Pet Aqua-Cremation
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A year or two before I lost Ranger, a beautiful German Shepherd I was fortunate to have for 13.7 years, I often wondered what my final choices were, what end of life options were available. The topic of death is not something healthy families like to think about, but knowing Ranger’s best years were behind him, it was something I felt I needed to explore. If the existence and the fact of your pets mortality doesn’t get you down, the state of our own pet funerary practices will.
Outside of burying a pet in a pet cemetery, most pet owners choose cremation citing simpler and cheaper reasons on Staten Island. I used to think flame cremation was a sustainable form of disposition for animals, but think about it for a second. By incinerating an animal, cremation destroys the potential a pet has to give back to the earth after a pet dies. The process of flame cremation generates numerous harmful air pollutants, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides to name a few. These pollutants do have severe effects on the surrounding environment and human health. All told, cremation in the USA emits a staggering 600 million tons of carbon dioxide directly into the atmosphere annually.
“What most of us don’t realize, the truly awful truth is that the very last thing a flame cremated pet will do to this earth… is poison it.”
It’s like we, as human beings created and accepted a mindset that puts as much distance between ourselves and nature as is humanly possible. Our modern pet funerary practices are designed to stave off the natural processes that happen to a body after death. Flame cremation prevents a body from decomposing naturally while turning a blind eye to the truth that nature is really, really good at death.
In nature, the breakdown of organic materials are the basic building blocks to create new life. When organic material dies in nature, microbes and bacteria break it down into nutrient rich soil. A pet’s body is recycled back into the earth in a clean way. Nature has no smokestacks. In nature, the breakdown of organic materials does not cause smoke to spew into the air as with flame cremation. Mufasa in the Lion King had it right. It’s called the natural circle of life.
Months after Ranger passed, I asked myself; “Can I offer a system that provides a gentler disposition for animals, beneficial to the earth and imitates the same process that occurs as part of nature’s course when a pet is laid to rest naturally in the soil?
The answer is yes and that process is called Aquamation. It boasts a greener end of life option, no emissions of harmful greenhouse gases or mercury into our atmosphere and is completely water based. Aquamation is identified as a combination of gentle water flow, temperature, and alkalinity that are used to accelerate the breakdown of organic materials. What can take 3 months to 5 years in nature, Aquamation takes 20 hours to complete. The process uses a solution of 95% water and 5% alkali and it’s actually the water molecules that break the bonds. To give you an example of how clean this process is, the 5% alkali used in this process are the same alkalis used in common cosmetic products, body washes, shaving creams, and even in food preparation. At the end of the process, all alkali has been completely consumed and neutralized, and no longer remains in the water solution. At the end of the Aquamation process, the only remains are the inorganic minerals of the bone. The mineral remains of the bone are then dried and processed into a powder for return to the family.
Aquamation is simply a gentler form of disposition for pets as opposed to the harshness of fire cremation, and on top of that, without question, Aquamation has the lowest environmental impact of all other pet care options on the planet.
And it gets better.. During the 20 hour cycle of Aquamation, water molecules change the composition and structure of the animal to create a new substance, a rich organic liquid that can be recycled back into nature.
When we incinerate an animal you destroy the potential your pet has to give back to the earth; And during that process of incineration, we are generating a by-product called carbon dioxide, a substance that can displace oxygen, that’s known to cause a variety of respiratory illnesses, and contributes to global warming. This is fact!
In contrast, Aquamation completely eliminates the negative consequences and results we get from flame cremation. There are no smokestacks spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and instead of the very last thing a flame cremated pet will do on this earth which is poison it, through Aquamation, our pets will be contributing and supporting to the earth. Veterinarians and pet owners, will now have the choice to make a positive contribution to the world we all live in and will pass down to our children.
The rich organic liquid that is produced and is a by-product of Aquamation, can be returned to the ecosystem via the normal wastewater treatment facility. The liquid is not only rich in nutrients but also benign and completely sterile. Wastewater plants actually appreciate the effluent, (the water – after aquamation) because it is an excellent micro-nutrient package that benefits and helps with the quality of wastewater treatment and is beneficial for maintaining and preserving pipes.
BUT… we intend to capture the liquid, give it back to pet owners if they desire. It makes for an excellent fertilizer in any backyard, as this nutrient rich liquid can be recycled to create new life. A family’s pet could be a cherry tree… or in the big picture where I am completely committed, used on organized farms to feed our planet.
The raw data that we have show us more than 25 million animals are cremated every year. The positive effect of taking those animals into our care and producing a nutrient rich water that can be recycled back into our planet is breathtaking. With this step, the very last thing a beautiful animal will do to this earth with our direction… is not poison it, but to grow life! What a way for a pet family to honor their pet! The impact and positive effect we all can have by contributing to our planet in an intelligent manner is staggering.
The picture to the left was not a planned. In this example, we didn’t have a lot of effluent to run a planned cycle. This photo shows only one pass on grass. Everywhere you get that emerald green color is where we have passed with a land application of effluent. It’s impressive what potential this nutrient rich by-product of Aquamation can have on our planet, enriching soil and growing life just as nature originally intended it to be!
The eco- friendly benefits I just described in this presentation is one reason New York State has issued us a license to operate right here in Nassau County, a short drive from the Belt Parkway, over the Verrazano and into Staten Island directly serving all of the NYC metro area. Everything is right here in the NY Metro area. Our facility boasts some of the most eco-friendly machines on the planet.
Right now, we are responsible for the well-being of our children and the world our younger generation will inherit from us. Today, it’s up to us to do what we can for the benefit of future generations. Do we think the Animal Health Care Industry will encourage and offer families a gentler, much more eco-friendly process that uses water instead of fire to return a pet back to mother nature? We think so and upon considering the eco-friendly benefits available to you and your family, we believe you will too.