'What a pathetic gimmick': Toronto Zoo's campaign to name a cockroach after an ex draws backlash, biting response
The Zoo's latest offer for donations is irritating readers who think it borders on 'bullying and harassment'
Have an ex-partner that you absolutely hate? A boss, or a relative getting on your nerves lately? Have you been bursting with anger, waiting patiently for the day you can get back at them? Well, look no further because this is your chance to be very petty.
With Valentine's Day coming up soon, Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy has launched a new name-a-roach campaign.
For a minimum donation of $25, the zoo will allow you to name a cockroach after anyone you know.
Roses are red; violets are blue… Is there someone in your life that’s bugging you? Give them goosebumps by naming a cockroach in their honour this Valentine's Day ❤️
For more information or to symbolically name-a-roach: https://t.co/maFh8siDB5 🪳 pic.twitter.com/ZdB8EfUSjD
— Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy (@TZWConservancy) January 15, 2023
“Roses are red, violets are blue… Is there someone in your life that’s bugging you? Give them goosebumps this Valentine’s Day by naming a cockroach in their honour,” the wildlife conservancy’s webpage reads.
Those who donate will receive a digital certificate with the name of the roach, a full charitable tax receipt, and a shareable digital graphic.
However, Toronto Zoo has clearly said that names and language deemed inappropriate will not be featured on the digital certificate and that profanity and hate speech will not be tolerated.
"The Toronto Zoo and the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy respect all creatures – big and small. Cockroaches play a very integral ecological role in their rainforest homes by helping to decompose forest litter and animal fecal matter and are, in turn, food for many other animals," the organization said.
People can make a donation by filling out this form.
Criticism of the cockroach approach: 'This is a sick idea'
While the idea struck a chord for many online, inspiring laughs and a few ideas for 'target' cockroaches, many were offended by the zoo's cheap attempt at donations, calling it a way to dehumanize, bully others.
The donation records will probably be useful in a number of abuse, stalking, hate crimes and bullying criminal cases that escalate from naming a cockroach after their targets. The dehumanizing twist has a TikTok psychopath viral flare to it. Did someone get paid for this idea?
— Alex (@Alexandlpa) January 17, 2023
Breaking up with someone can be a traumatic experience. People hurt mentally and often resort to physical pain. Shame on you! Whoever signed off on this idiotic idea is a horrible human being
— Bent Skeg (@robak11) January 17, 2023
What the hell are you people thinking about. You're just adding to the general lack of respect that grows by the day in our society. Whoever came up with this and whoever approved it should be out on the street on their ass!
— Brian O'Connor (@TargetInView) January 17, 2023
Dehumanizing people is never a good look for any organization. Please read up on the 1994 Rwandan genocide and how the Tutsis were “identified” and slaughtered; the Zoo ought to do better.
— Maureen 🇨🇦🏴🇮🇪 🇸🇪 🦕 (@moiaucanada) January 17, 2023
Who is the top executive at the Toronto Zoo? This is as sick idea, so maybe we should start at the top. And Twitter should be worried that it is trying to censor replies to this post, rather than deal with the problem at the Zoo.
— eva kovacs (@budapestborn) January 16, 2023
LOL what a pathetic gimmick to try and keep kids coming into their animal display.
— TRiLL🇨🇦 (@mmaTRiLL) January 17, 2023
Sounds like bullying and harrassment
— Devin Brown (@DevinBrown9988) January 17, 2023