US State Tries New Way to Deal With Human Remains
The top official in the American state of Washington has approved a new way of dealing with human remains. The law permits approved businesses to compost them – in other words, to turn bodies into dirt.
Until now, states have permitted bodies only to be buried or burned.
Governor Jay Inslee says the law came about because of his neighbor.
Her name is Katrina Spade. While she was a graduate student in architecture, Spade began researching the funeral industry. She did not like its usual ways of burying or burning bodies. She wondered if Americans could deal with human remains similar to the way farmers deal with animal remains.
In time, Spade found that human bodies would decompose quickly in a container filled with small pieces of wood, alfalfa and straw.
Last year, Washington State University tested the idea on six bodies.
And it worked.
Spade now has a business that lets people choose to compost their bodies. The idea is for bodies to stay for 30 days in closed containers. During that time, they will turn into enough dirt to fill a small pickup truck. Friends and family may then take the dirt and spread it in a place that is special to them, or use it to plant vegetables or a tree.
"It gives meaning and use to what happens to our bodies after death," said Nora Menkin. She is the head of the People's Memorial Association, which helps people plan for funerals.
Other supporters say that composting is easy on the environment, especially compared to usual American funerals. Such practices involve chemicals, carbon dioxide or coffins that use land.
The law permitting composting will take effect in May 2020.
Jamie Pederson is a state lawmaker who sponsored the measure. He says he has received angry emails from people who object to the idea. They say it does not honor the dead.
Pederson said those people often believe their dead loved one would be thrown outside and covered in old food. But that idea is not right, he said; the process will be respectful.
I'm Caty Weaver.
1.take effect 生效
The traffic laws don't take effect until the end of the year.
2.filled with 充满
Maria's eyes filled with tears.
3.turn into 变成；转化
We think he'll turn into a top-class player.
4.human remains 人类遗体
Police have found what appear to be human remains.
5.The law permits approved businesses to compost them – in other words, to turn bodies into dirt.
in other words 换句话说
In other words, the system broke.
In other words, he came out of the closet.
6.The top official in the American state of Washington has approved a new way of dealing with human remains.
dealing with 处理
We know we're dealing with someone with a different frame of reference.
The trial could set an important precedent for dealing with large numbers of similar cases.
美国华盛顿州最高官员批准了一种处理人类遗体的新法案 。该法案允许获批企业将其制作成堆肥——换句话说，将遗体转化为堆肥 。
她就是卡特里娜·斯佩德（Katrina Spade） 。斯佩德在读建筑学研究生时，就开始研究殡葬业 。她不喜欢传统的土葬或火葬形式 。她很好奇美国人是否能像农民处理动物遗体那样对待人类遗体 。
斯佩德如今创办了一家公司，能够让人们将自己的遗体化作堆肥 。遗体将被放入封闭容器内保存30天 。在这期间，遗体会分解成足够装满一辆小型皮卡的泥土 。然后，朋友和亲属可能会把泥土放置在一个特别的地方，或者利用它来种植蔬菜或树木 。
诺拉·门金表示：“这种葬法为我们的遗体赋予了意义和用途 。”她是人民纪念协会的会长，该协会帮助人们策划葬礼 。
其他支持者表示，堆肥有利于缓解环境压力，尤其与美国传统的殡葬形式相比 。传统葬法涉及化学品、二氧化碳（火葬）或占用土地的土葬等 。
州议员杰米·佩德森(Jamie Pederson)支持这项措施 。他说，他收到了反对者言辞激烈的电子邮件 。他们表示，这种葬法不尊重死者 。
佩德森说，这些人认为，他们故去的亲人会暴尸荒野，被残渣剩饭淹没 。但是这种观念是不对的，他说；这个过程也会敬畏亡者 。