@MsMisery, I know! It’s nuts. Unless you have some kind of infectious disease that can contaminate the water table there’s no good reason to embalm. It’s just become part of the normal American funeral to do the whole process and some funeral homes can be big ol assholes about how they treat family. I’ve heard of people being told that the cost of a funeral can reflect the amount they loved the deceased.
I’m getting a dual masters in American Studies and Environmental Studies. This topic seemed like a good way to combine both and bring in my obsession with visiting cemeteries and looking for dead relatives.
@coconot and others who are weirded out by American burial practices, you should look into green burial. It’s a growing trend right now. It’s burial in a more natural landscape without the use of embalming fluid, fancy-ass caskets, or vaults. Sometimes there is no marker and you are just buried in a field or forest. It’s a pretty cool return to the old way of doing things. GreenBurialCouncil.org is a good place to start researching.
This is what I’m writing my thesis on, so I’m the weird burial girl.