Straw dogs I think I finally got what you’re trying to say here when I connected it with straw dogs, ceremonial objects that hold a place of reverence during the ceremony but are discarded afterward. The straw dogs are not inherently sacred or inherently worthless: their status comes from the context in which they are encountered. More to the point, the straw dog’s contextual sacredness is not an arbitrary choice. You can decide to have the ceremony or not, of course, but once the ceremony has begun, it is sacred; and once it’s over, it’s not. Continuing the treat it as sacred afterward is as inappropriate as trampling it beneath your feet during the ceremony.