Some say he’s barking up the wrong tree, others say he’s howling mad, but Lord Avebury is doggedly determined to have himself turned into canine fodder. A 58-year-old Liberal peer, Buddhist convert, ecology enthusiast and pet aficionado, Avebury wants to bequeath his body to The Dogs Home, Battersea—London’s best-known refuge for strays—where he hopes his remains will be turned into chow. “It’s a nice gesture to give the doggies a good meal, and it will save Battersea the cost of some food,” said Avebury, whose 168-pound frame would yield the equivalent of $112 in canned victuals. “We have to do something with our bodies, and this is ecologically sound. It’s a terrible waste that bodies are buried or cremated when they should be recycled.”
His proposal has provoked grave reaction. “I’m horrified,” said Bill Wad-man-Taylor, Battersea’s manager. “I’m sure there’s a lot of nourishment in a human carcass, but I wouldn’t ask my staff to cut it up and feed it to the dogs.” A spokesman for Pedigree Chum, one of Britain’s top brands of dog food, said of Avebury, “He’s obviously quite serious and trying to make a point, but I don’t know what the point is. Human remains are not a natural food for dogs, and we doubt they would eat it.” Lord Avebury—who as plain Eric Lubbock was once a leading figure in the Liberal Party—is even getting chewed out by those close to him. His wife isn’t keen on the idea, and his solicitor is trying to dissuade him from his psychodogmatic effort.
All the criticism has left Avebury with his tail between his legs. He’s now considering alternative uses for his body, such as feeding fishes or fertilizing trees. Yet his original wish remains unchanged. “I love dogs,” he said. “I can think of nothing better than having my bones gnawed once I’m gone.”