Most Americans might not consider cows nearly as noble or important as, say, bald eagles - but in Nepal, the humble bovines have officially been granted the same level of esteem in that nation's heart.
This week, the Nepalese government formally adopted a new constitution. While the document, which establishes Nepal as a secular republic, is being hailed as a victory for the country's religiously diverse population, the biggest winner from its drafting is not human at all.
In a welcome gesture to Nepal's 21 million Hindus, for whom cows are considered sacred, the constitution granted them the highest honor an animal can receive - a distinction that comes with lifesaving benefits.
"[We] have made cow our national animal," General Secretary of Nepali Congress, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, told the Kathmandu Post."Now, the animal has constitutional protection and cow slaughter has also been banned."