See http://www.platitudes.org.uk/platblog/index.php (for the alternative and satirical version) and
http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/programmes/thought/documents/t20080530.shtml (for the transcript)
With the relentless rise in fuel prices likely to continue reducing us all to fuel poverty, I too felt driven to come up with a solution for the energy crisis and wonder whether there could be a way of recycling dead human beings. It is after all an apparently limitless resource. Whether it will one day find popular acceptance is another thing however!
There is in fact nothing in the Koran or any Holy Book as far as I know that forbids this practice.
Many are irrationally attached to the remains of their beloved. Bereaved mothers, shocked at the discovery that the organs of their deceased children were retained in Alder Hey Hospital, moved heaven and earth to gain possession of them, only to bury them once obtained.
"If I can't have you, no one else can either" seems to be the rather ignoble and selfish message being conveyed.
It can be seen that the burning and burying of an object of hate (such as a heretic) bears an undeniable similarity of method to the cremating of a loved one.
The Tibetan and Parsee practice of allowing vultures to consume their dead - "sky burial" - seems the most ecologically sound because it uses up very little energy and space. It is also spiritually and emotionally generous as well as being laudably practical.
It is fitting that humans who eat feathered creatures in their lifetimes should upon death be offered back to them as sustenance, and in return for the additional service of conveying their souls skywards to Heaven.
It is also fitting that humans, who spend most of their lives desecrating their environment with their polluting presence, limitless desires and profligate use of Nature's bounty, should give back of themselves in a way both beneficial to Nature and society, with the minimum of fuss.
Those of us who saw SOYLENT GREEN may baulk at the idea of being converted into processed wafers as food for those who cannot afford to eat anything else, but my faith in humanity leads me to believe that there must be a way of converting corpses into some form of energy or resource that it is both decent and useful.
I wonder if the Dalai Lama - whose people are after all practitioners of the sky burial - has anything interesting to say on this.