You might be asking “what is Aquamation?” Aquamation is the natural process known as alkaline hydrolysis. Using water flow, temperature and alkalinity, it is more like natural decomposition when compared to any other method. Following both the Aquamation or cremation process, only the bones remain. Unlike cremation, Aquamated remains resemble fine sand and contain no black, carbonized ash, and no large bone fragments. We’ve found that seeing the clean, pure sand makes it easier to hold on to the precious memories of your pet.
But why use Aquamation? The answer is easy. It is a totally green, environmentally friendly technology. No greenhouse gases are emitted and it’s non-toxic. Essentially, it just accelerates what takes place in natural decomposition. Two of the primary ways a body decomposes when buried are interactions with alkali and moisture in the soil (which begins the alkaline hydrolysis process) and the way insects help to decompose a body. In fact, the internal operation that insects use to accomplish this is actually alkaline hydrolysis. Alkaline hydrolysis is also how all humans extract nutrients from food in our small intestines.
As you saw on our home page, the consumption of fossil-fueled energy is far greater when cremation is used. To put it into context: the incineration of a small cat takes approximately 2 million BTU’s of energy. This amount of energy would heat your home for three days in -15 weather.
We understand that cost isn’t always a factor in the loss of a loved companion; however, as an added benefit, Aquamation is usually priced at, or below, the cost of cremation or burial. We often ask prospective veterinarians why, particularly if the price was the same, would you choose to offer your clients an archaic technology that horribly pollutes over a clean, more gentle method. We encourage pet owners to ask their vets the same question!
Homeagain by MEOW co. works with Peaceful Pets Aquamation, who are already responsible for eliminating almost 2 million pounds of CO2 from the air. With their current expansion, they will be able to eliminate that amount each and every year. It is a significant contribution.
In a sense, Aquamation is the opposite of burning by fire. Burning is an oxidative process where alkaline hydrolysis is a reductive process. Obviously, when nature is involved, bodies are slowly reduced to their organic elements, not burned. In fact, even chemicals such as cytotoxic drugs (i.e. chemotherapy drugs) and viruses are broken down into basic nutrient elements, rendering them non-toxic. Alkaline hydrolysis was instrumental in eradicating Britain’s Mad Cow disease for this very reason.
In a 1990 study the EPA found a who’s who of carcinogens in a report entitled Nationwide Emissions from Animal Cremation. A lot of this is common sense: if a pet has been given any kind of drug or chemotherapy, the chemicals that are in the body when cremated are then spewed into the air. To be fair, many crematories have secondary burners that burn off toxins before they get into the air; however, the toxins don’t just magically disappear. They are then left with a toxic ash to deal with. With Aquamation, this is no longer an issue – drugs and viruses are rendered benign. We at Peaceful Pets don’t want our pets’ memories left at the end of a smokestack.
Peaceful Pets Aquamation (who Homeagain works with) uses a patented machine that uses:
The gentle process takes about 20 hours to complete.
Aquamation is a well-established technology that has only recently been adapted to the pet industry, but it is spreading rapidly. Peaceful Pets Aquamation was one of the first companies to offer this service to the everyday consumer, and has greater experience in its use than anyone else.
Who else uses Aquamation? For both animals and humans, it is the preferred method of tissue disposition for many of the largest and most prestigious medical and educational facilities in the world. UCLA, the Mayo Clinic, Duke University, and the US Government are among the many who have alkaline hydrolysis machinery. It’s also used in many countries, including Great Britain, Australia, and South Africa.
Aquamation is now legal in 15 states to be used for humans.