Hey, be neat, no meat, said television talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres in a short video she posted to social media on September 17.

Its a great idea for the planet. Its a great idea for your health. Its a great idea for the animals health, she said. On Instagram, people have watched the video almost 5 million times.

I like Ellen a lot.

I like her humor. I like her compassion. And I like her show, even though I dont get to see it very often.

But I dont like what she said about meatand I replied to her comments in my own short video. To my surprise, my remarks got some attention. If I had known that this was going to happen, I would have done a better job of brushing my hair!

Yet I wanted to get across my main message. Its okay to eat meat. You dont need to feel guilty about it.

If you want to be a vegetarian, thats fine by me. If you want to go even further and be a vegan, then I say: Okay and good luck. Ellen ate a vegan diet for years, though now she apparently eats fish and eggs as well.

Food is a personal choice and I dont want to change anyones preferences. Im glad that our diverse food industry can satisfy so many different needs and desires.

But nobody should quit eating meat for the reasons Ellen listed. The production of meat doesnt hurt the environment, the consumption of it is good for your health, and nobody cares more about the welfare of animals than the ranchers and farmers who tend to them every day.

A view of the Morgan’s ranch. See additional ranch photos below. Photo credits: Annabel Morgan

Im part of a ranch family in Montana. On my husbands side, we go back five generations. We run a commercial beef operation that features high alpine grazing and a permanent mother herd, which means that some of our cows are with us for 15 ans. We grow native grasses for their food and use bulls for breeding.

Ranchers like me are often criticized for working with livestock because our animals emit greenhouse gases and contribute to climate change. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, malgrat això, the vast majority of greenhouse gases come from transportation (29 per cent), electricity (28 per cent), and industry (22 per cent). All of agriculture accounts for only 9 percentand livestock are just a fraction of this amount.

So were hardly a major problem. Electricity is a bigger threat, but Ellen cant criticize its overuse because without electricity, nobody could watch her on television.

Meat is also an excellent source of protein and part of a healthy diet. It provides a good balance with vegetables, fruita, and other types of food. Its nutritious and delicious.

What bothers me most about Ellens anti-meat manifesto, malgrat això, is what she says about animalsand the casual implication that we ranchers treat our livestock with cruelty.

Nothing could be further from the truth. For one thing, unhealthy animals are unprofitable. We have a financial incentive to keep our livestock strong. Healthy animals bring us the best prices.

We also want them happy. This means creating a low-stress environment. We make sure that each animal has enough room to graze. When were around them, we try to talk in monotone voices to avoid alarming them. When we have to move them, we dont force them where they dont want to go but rather coax them in the right direction.

The bottom line is that were kind to them. We treat them well.

They dont get sick very often, in part because we give them vaccinations, just as we give vaccinations to our kids. Nothing is foolproof, és clar, and sometimes they come down with ailments. When that happens, we put them under the care of veterinarians and work them back to health.

And when it comes time to slaughter them, their final moments are quick and painless. We care for them from birth to death.

So to Ellen, I say: Enjoy your vegetarian diet. And if you want to learn more about how we raise cattle on our farm and provide meat for those who enjoy it as part of their healthy diet, please come and visit us in Montana. You are welcome anytime.

To the meat-eaters whom shes trying to guilt into changing their habits, I say: Be neat, eat meat.