Updated: Jun 18
Aquamation is legal in the state of California. It is legal for pets in all 50 states and Canada. Under California Governor Jerry Brown, bill AB 967 was passed, legalizing aquamation for both pets and people. It allows the use of water-based cremation, also known as alkaline hydrolysis, in California.
Before passing the bill, the only commercially available options for deceased pets were flame-based cremation and burial—both of which are harmful to the environment. For more information about aftercare options for pets, read this.
Fire-based cremation releases harmful greenhouse gases into the environment and burns fossil fuels. A burial can mean that dangerous medications, viruses, and bacteria from a deceased pet could contaminate the water table.
Aquamation entails placing the body of a deceased pet into a stainless steel chamber. The chamber is lowered into the aquamation machine, and lyle and water are added. The water is slowly heated to roughly 200 degrees Fahrenheit (just below boiling temperature). Water and lyle work together to create an alkaline environment, slowly decomposing all organic material. All that remains when the process is complete are the mineral components of a pet's body. This mineral ash is dried and returned to owners. This decomposition process closely mimics what occurs when a body is buried without all the potential negative consequences.
Aquamation is by far the most energy-efficient way to provide aftercare for a deceased pet. Using water-based cremation significantly decreases the amount of carbon dioxide and harmful greenhouse gases released into the environment.
It is important to note that owners receive mineral ash with both aquamation and fire-based cremation. There is no difference between the ash you receive from either form of cremation. Why not make your environmental impact lessened when choosing an aftercare plan for your pet?
After all, aquamation is legal.