Valentine's Day – you're either in a loved up bubble or seething over an ex.

To help scorned lovers have a moment of revenge, a US zoo has come up with the bizarre idea of letting people name cockroaches and rats after their exes and then watch them being eaten.

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It costs a $7.40 for a roach or $25 for a pre-frozen rodent, a fee that includes a live-stream of the creatures being fed to other animals.

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While the "Cry Me A Cockroach" event appears to be a great way of dealing with bitter, unresolved feelings, angry animal lovers aren't having a bar of it.

Taking to Instagram, protesters slammed a post by the San Antonio Zoo, in Texas, advertising the fundraiser, calling it "disgusting, disrespectful and cruel".

"Please cancel this event," begged one person adding: "This teaches nothing but disrespect and cruelty."

While another commenter wrote: This is absolutely disgusting. Totally appalled."

The event has been criticised as inhumane and an unhealthy way to deal with a breakup. Photo / Instagram
The event has been criticised as inhumane and an unhealthy way to deal with a breakup. Photo / Instagram

They continued: "What a hole for the poor animals to exist in – how are you educating anyone about respecting the natural environment? Rethink this approach – it is so backwards."

"How ridiculous. What a terrible marketing scheme. Caging animals and encouraging causing them harm? Shame on you," said a third.

"This is so wrong on so many levels. It's cruel and sick. It shows you have no respect for life. Cancel this event."

Another said: "There is no way of looking at this as healthy. It is offensive and cruel but also not a healthy way for people to deal with a break-up. Do better."

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Information about the event explains all submissions will remain anonymous and only first names of the exes will be said on the live-stream.

As part of the deal, spurned lovers will also receive a certificate which they can share to social media.

The zoo tried to address concerns about animal welfare on its site, and said it wanted to reassure people it adhered to the highest standards.

"All of our feeder insects were part of the audit by American Humane (the oldest animal welfare organisation in the country).

"During our animal welfare audit by American Humane, the treatment of all the animals in our care, including feeders such as cockroaches, mealworms, crickets and more, was inspected.

"We were proudly the first zoological facility on the planet to be accredited by both AZA and ZAA as well as Humane Certified by American Human," they said.