Meat doesn’t just materialize in a grocery store wrapped in cellophane and ready to be scanned and barbecued.
Every steak, burger and chicken leg was once part of a living animal.
Converting animals into food was among the first collective activities humans engaged in, even predating growing crops. Humans have eaten other animals for pretty much the entire time we’ve been on this planet.
On Tuesday, Douglas County planning commissioners approved a permit for Park Ranch Holdings to conduct a small meat harvesting plant in the barn located north of Buckeye Road.
The Parks didn’t walk away with everything they wanted. Hooking up to the Minden-Gardnerville Sanitation District is going to be a tad pricey, and not just because they have to run a sewer line for roughly 1,500 feet.
But the county code requirement to connect to sewer is there for a reason, and there are lots of folks in Carson Valley who found out there’s sewer along their lot line the hard way.
All those cows standing out in Carson Valley’s fields certainly add to the ambiance of the place, but they’re out there for a reason.
We eat them.
And just as the hay crop that Carson Valley agriculturalists just brought in, they have to be harvested, which is a nice way of saying killed and cut up.
So why did the Parks permit essentially sail through compared to a proposal in Centerville two years ago.
For the same reason Douglas County has a special use permit process.
Not every location in the county is suitable for a use that would otherwise be permitted under the code.
And the requirement that the plant connect to sewer and water barring some good reason not to, just increases our confidence that this location is better suited to a meat-processing plant than the one at Centerville.
At some point, residents of Carson Valley are going to have to decide how much they value those green fields.
Because they are the storefront for a business that converts animals into food.