Aside from religious reasons (discussed below), some people find they prefer cremation over traditional burial for personal reasons. The thought of a long and slow decomposition process is unappealing to some; many people find that they prefer cremation because it disposes of the body instantly.
Other people view cremation as a way of simplifying their funeral process. These people view a ground burial as an unneeded complication of their funeral process, and thus choose cremation to make their services as simple as possible.
In agriculturally dependent India, it was believed quite early that interring bodies to rot in the soil might render an area infertile.This is why cremation was preferred initially, even before it was introduced into the Rigveda.
The cost factor tends to make cremation attractive. Generally speaking, cremation is cheaper than a traditional burial service, especially if direct cremation is chosen, in which the body is cremated as soon as legally possible without any sort of services. However, for some even cremation is still relatively expensive, especially as a lot of fuel is required to perform it. Methods to reduce fuel consumption/fuel cost include the use of different fuels (i.e. natural gas or propane, compared to wood) and by using an incinerator (retort) (closed cabin) rather than an open fire.
For surviving kin, cremation is preferred because of simple portability. Survivors relocating to another city or country have the option of transporting their loved ones with the ultimate goal of being interred or scattered together.
Cremated remains can be scattered or buried. Cremation plots or columbarium niches are usually cheaper than a traditional burial plot or mausoleum crypt, and require less space. Some religions, such as Roman Catholicism, require the burial or entombment of cremated remains, but burial of cremated remains may often be accomplished in the burial plot of another person, such as a family member, without any additional cost. This option is charged for in England in an Anglican church where the fee is set by the Table of Parochial Fees (£36 to incumbent and £78 to church council) a total of £114 in 2010 with a marker charged as extra. It is also very common to scatter the remains in a place the deceased liked—such as the sea, a river, a beach, a park, or mountains, following their last will. This is generally forbidden in public places but easy to do. Some persons choose to have a small part of their ashes (usually less than 1 part in 1000, because of cost constraints) scattered in space (known as space burial and offered by companies such as Elysium Space, Celestis and Ascending Memories). Cremated remains can now also be converted to diamonds.