"Heaven and Earth are heartless
treating creatures like straw dogs"
--Laozi, Tao Te Ching
"Heaven and Earth are not partial. They do not kill living things out of cruelty or give them birth out of kindness. We do the same when we make straw dogs to use in sacrifices. We dress them up and put them on the altar, but not because we love them. And when the ceremony is over, we throw them into the street, but not because we hate them."
--Su Ch'e, as quoted in Lao-tzu's Taoteching: with Selected Commentaries of the Past 2000 Years, translated by Red Pine