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Inside the Funeral Industry: The Modern Mortician's Perspective

Is the funeral industry predatory? What are the ethics of the funeral industry? These are some of the pressing questions we address in our latest episode of "Comforting Closure - Conversations with a Death Doula." I had the pleasure of speaking with Melissa Meadow, better known as the Modern Mortician, who shared her unique insights into the funeral industry, its practices, and the growing movement toward green funerals. 

Funeral Industry Practices 

The complexities and costs of traditional funeral practices can be overwhelming for grieving families. Melissa Meadow, a licensed funeral director and green burial advocate, brings much-needed clarity to these issues. She discusses the industry's profit-driven practices and emphasizes the importance of transparency and sustainability in funeral services. 

The Predatory Nature of the Funeral Industry 

Is the funeral industry predatory? Melissa’s experiences suggest that, in many cases, it can be. She recounts instances where funeral homes pressure families into purchasing expensive caskets by implying non-existent cultural norms. These tactics exploit grieving individuals during one of the most challenging times of their lives. For example, some funeral homes might use high-pressure sales techniques to convince families that a costly casket is necessary to honor their loved ones properly. 

The Ethics of the Funeral Industry 

What are the ethics of the funeral industry? Melissa highlights several unethical practices she has witnessed, such as using recycled cardboard boxes for cremations instead of proper cremation containers. These practices not only disrespect the deceased but also deceive the families who trust funeral homes to handle their loved ones with dignity. Melissa stresses the need for greater transparency and honesty in funeral services to ensure families can make informed decisions. 

Embracing Green Funerals: A Path Forward 

Despite these challenges, there is hope. Melissa advocates for green funerals as a more ethical and sustainable option. Green burials use biodegradable materials and avoid harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, which can damage the environment. By choosing green funerals, families can honor their loved ones in a way that aligns with their values and promotes ecological conservation. 

Key takeaways from our conversation include: 

  • The importance of being informed and asking the right questions when planning a funeral. 

  • Understanding that families have the right to choose eco-friendly options. 

  • Recognizing the need for greater transparency and ethical standards within the industry. 

Join the Movement for Change 

It’s time to rethink how we approach death and burial practices. By opting for green funerals, we can support a movement towards more ethical and sustainable death care. Let's continue to ask the tough questions and demand transparency from the funeral industry. 



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