‘I Want to Be Eaten By Vultures’

KMGN: This was a very interesting article. I knew of the practice of Sky Burial for Tibetans and the Native American practice and it never once occurred to me this practice may still want to be practiced by the devout Buddhist, etc. However, the idea of “body farming” REALLY makes me shiver. There seems no respect in body farming for the person who, as we say in Orthodoxy “fell asleep”. What do you think?

Longreads

However shocking it is to the mainstream American sensibility, deliberate excarnation (or de-fleshing) is also a practice with a history—a spiritual practice sometimes referred to as “sky burial.” After death, the bodies of many Tibetan Buddhists are partially flayed and left exposed on a mountaintop for birds and animals to consume. The Parsis of India, a Zoroastrian population clustered around Mumbai, place their dead atop Towers of Silence to be picked clean by vultures. And certain Native American tribes once left their dead on elevated platforms to be excarnated. While the AP article revealed that many Americans are deeply unsettled by body-farm donation (no great surprise), its outing of the vulture study also exposed an unexpected, if rarefied, desire in this country: FACTS [the Forensic Anthropology Center] began receiving calls from potential donors requesting to be consumed by vultures. It made religion-specific sense when a little-known Zoroastrian group in Texas…

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About Henrietta Handy

I am a Kentucky mountain girl far from home, perhaps far from the girl years. I am an aspiring writer with a wonderful husband who puts up with this writing and reading addiction I have. He also puts up with all of the yarn and knitting. I have four canine children and a ton of friends I love dearly. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 2 1/2 and have still managed to have a good life despite all the pain. So, I invite you to join me in this journey and just possibly have fun along the way.
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