I love cows. Just this morning, I was explaining the concept of cow comfort to my sister over a cup of hot café con leche. She’d requested I invest in a more cow-friendly brand of milk. I stood behind my own selection: I’ve seen the dairy. Those fancy organic brands? Ain’t seen theirs. ‘Nuff said.

After this brief exchange, I settled down to a perusal of the day’s newsworthy events. As it happened, the Associated Press ran a piece on the mini-tsunami experienced by the southern coast of Mexico yesterday. It seems that one affected village’s people were almost uniformly saved after their cattle stampeded off for higher ground in a well-justified panic just before the shoreline moved inland to claim the village.

Equally panicked by the impending loss of their livelihood, the villagers (about 600 strong) had hurried after their bovine income stream escaping up the hillside when they noticed the waves crashing over their roofs below.

Were it not for the herd mentality—not to mention a prey-animal’s unique sensitivity to impending doom—the whole village would have been asleep in their beds when the water levels rose.

Speaking as the owner of a skittish prey-species (remember my goat, Poppy?) I know just how loud and quick they can be when alarmed—and it doesn’t take much. Feeling a tremor beneath your tender hooves when all of creation has conspired to heighten your sensitivity to such miniscule harbingers of disaster? Now that would be enough to make me stampede, too.

So I ask: What’s not to love about the cows in our lives? Whether they make your daily Starbuck’s delightful or save the lives of a whole village, their docile bovine existence is indisputably a wonderful thing.

P.S. In thanks for all they do for humanity, attempt to visit your local dairy to check up on the conditions they live in. Drink milk from dairy farmers who susbscribe to the “cow comfort” philosophy (i.e., happy cows make more milk). And be warned: what’s best for you might not be best for Bessie. So don’t be swayed by labels like “organic” and “all-natural”—they often don’t tell the whole story (as I learned during my school-days’ herd heath experiences).