Predicting the next 100 years of the funeral industry
PREFACE: These predictions are simply conclusions based on fringe ideas I see being developed today. These “predictions” aren’t necessarily my “preferences”.
By 2024, embalming will no longer be the majority choice, while cremation and alternate burial options (green burials, etc) will not only count for the majority of dispositions, but will continue to rise in popularity.
Pet burials and maybe even pet funerals will continue to gain momentum.
In 2008, the cremation rate for England was at 72.4%. In 2034, America will have reached the same rate. The remaining 17.6% will probably be either direct burial (with no embalming) or some other type of sustainable full burial option. Embalming will only be performed on those who suffered tragic deaths; or on bodies that need some type of shipment.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Alkaline Hydrolysis (or something similar) has a major foothold in the disposition of the deceased. It’s possible that Alkaline Hydrolysis takes over cremation due to the fact that it’s a more sustainable option.
The euthanasia topic will be a settled issue at this point. Even today, in 2014, seven out of ten Americans are in favor of physician assisted euthanasia. By 2054, the question won’t be “is it legal” but “how do we adapt to the large number who request it?”
With the ability for a death date to be determined via euthanasia, it’s possible that a person’s life is celebrated through ritual BEFORE their death, instead of after it. This changes the whole landscape for the funeral industry.
Throughout the next 60 years, end-of-life discussions be a hot topic. Whether it be insurance concerns, euthanasia ethics or various other topics that arise, we will all have an opinion. In 2075 the conversation starts to shift, as people begin living very long and healthy lives through advanced technology, medicine and various synthetic forms of longevity aid.
It’s possible that death becomes a welcome friend, instead of a hated foe … that when people reach the age of 150 they simply want to die. It’s possible that we will be able to sustain life much farther than we sustain health. It’s possible, at this point, the euthanasia become the dominate cause of death. Instead of funeral homes, there’s now “Celebration Centers”.
At this point, technology allows us to be anything we want to be. And we’ll all choose to be Batman … the rich kid who has all of his needs fulfilled so he decides to test his fate by pushing limits. And we’ll all die stupid narcissistic heroic deaths from rock climbing or space explorations or deep sea diving. At this point, humanity will kill itself off via stupidity and dogs will rule the world. You heard it here first: Planet of the Dogs starts in 100 years.
With everybody dying from tragic acts of stupidity, most bodies aren’t recovered and the funeral industry dies. : )