Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Chapter 11, Out of the Fire, into the Compost Bin Summary & Analysis

Mary Roach
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Chapter 11, Out of the Fire, into the Compost Bin Summary and Analysis

Chapter 11 looks at alternative funerals. Roach visits the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where she finds herself in a giant refrigerator used for storing dead animals. The author is curious to see how death is dealt with when bereaved relatives are removed as a factor. She wants to see Colorado State's method of "tissue digestion" disposal.

The author digresses to speak of Kevin McCabe, the owner of a Michigan funeral home. Kevin wants to use tissue digestion, what he calls "water reduction," on human remains. The method can reduce an adult corpse to 3% of its body weight, with everything else becoming a sterile, coffee-colored liquid. This is achieved through pressure, heat and lye. The resulting fluid is safe enough to flush down the drain...

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This section contains 972 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Study Guide
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