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Question
Posted by: Lorraine | 2007/08/23

Green death

In Tibet, bodies are left on the cliffs for vultures to snack on. This seems to me to be the best bet for an environmentally sound way of disposing of corpses. Can I get my body chucked out at the vulture restaurant, or must my still-living nearest and dearest do it secretly?

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Our expert says:
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You might be able to arrange to go the vulture restaurant route... but unless you organise to be in Tibet (or India) at the time of your death, it's going to cause your nearest and dearest a lot of time, trouble and money to get your body transported there. Also you might need to convert to the Zoroastrian faith. And apparently the vulture populations have been declining, so the authorities in these countries might not be too keen on dealing with extra corpses. Similar procedures in South Africa would almost definitely not be legal, so, yes, I suppose it would need to be secret. A form of burial at sea (very soon after death) might be an alternative i.e. sharks instead of vultures? Though I strongly suspect this is illegal too.

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