A new facility, Pet Heaven Funeral Home, just opened in Orchard Park, New York and it reassures me that traditional human funerals aren’t going away, even though cremation keeps rising.

I know what you’re thinking:  “How can a PET funeral home tell you anything about human funeral homes?”

For starters, Americans often treat their pets the same as or better than they treat the human members of the family. 

Secondly, there is no industry prejudice against pet cremation like there is in the human memorialization market so there is little pressure on consumers to make a forced choice for burial and traditional services.

And still, people choose to bury their pets and more folks are beginning to choose services for their animals.

Yes, there are still low-cost pet cremation providers and they will continue to thrive, just like low-cost human cremation providers.

But the pet funeral industry, which used to be 95% communal cremation arranged through your veterinarian, is growing up and the lack of artificial industry pressure means the result is a more natural reflection of what Americans really want for their loved ones.

So how does this help traditional, human funeral homes?

It tells us that, at some point, the prejudice against cremation needs to fall away, as we embrace cremation and burial as simply disposition options, while we learn that the real work of funeral homes is to provide context for grief and a venue to share and process emotions.

If all you provide your human clients is a disposition, there’s no reason for them to choose you over a less-expensive option.