They are cute. They are cuddly. They drain your energy and finances. They are children and, according to researchers at the Fresno University of Nanite, Kinesiology, and Youth Studies, they are, directly and indirectly, the leading cause of death worldwide. But how are what so many call "our future" really our demise?
"First and foremost, children are a drain on resources," states Dr. Medea A. Helios, world renowned researcher on the subject and a major supporter of zero population growth projects. "They require more food more frequently, their clothes are constantly becoming too small, and their bouts with frequent illness requires additional purchases and provisions. They strain things economically within the nuclear family and society as a whole."
"Secondly, they are a major vector of disease. Doctor visits and serious illnesses see a huge spike in numbers when school begins as the most pestilent people within any given populous are suddenly banded together sharing their germs that, in turn, go home with them and spread to their family and their family members' places of work. Children are not per say a cause of disease in and of themselves, but their weak immune systems combined with horrid displays of poor hygiene, such as the ingestion of their own and others nasal mucus, the soiling of their pants, and public urination, make them far more pestilent than rats, pigeons, the consumption of undercooked meats, or the toilet seats in public restrooms."
The final factor is the excessive loss of sleep experienced by parents which Dr. Helios refers to as, "the one ton elephant that absolutely obliterates the already arthritic camel that is weighed down and suffering from osteoporosis."
"This final factor ties into and exacerbates all of the others," she claims. "Those around children are lacking adequate resources and space for themselves and are subject to a greater deal of exposure to disease. The lack of sleep contributes to poor health and poor decision making that in turn can cause resources to become even scarcer and illness to become even more likely."
This fatal combination of problems caused by children can, according to Dr. Helios' research, be attributed as the cause of all major life problems. "The state of the economy, war, plague, famine. All major problems stem from the effect of children on their environment and the adults around them. We lack because of them. We become irritable and even violent, but rarely with them. Who does the aggression and frustration from a lack of sleep, health, and regular unrushed sex get heaped upon? Grown ups. Kids are seen as too cute to blame."
Driver error, work accidents, hate crimes, substance abuse, theft, murder, and suicide are all blamed on children as well. When asked for an explanation of such a claim, Dr. Helios responded with this example of the contribution of children to suicide:
"As a child, another child calls you fat. You develop a complex. You later have children and gain weight due to a rushed schedule and apathy from a lack of sleep and time in relation to your child. You kill yourself. But you really didn't. The kid who called you fat did. Your child did. Your own childhood self did."
Such claims are not without opponents. Most parents refuse to believe their own children are slowly and in some cases rapidly contributing to their deaths. Dr. Helios is often accused of hating children or having let her personal views influence her research.
"I have been one hundred percent objective in my research. I have children. I love my children. I'm just stating what empirical observations over the course of many years and work hours have shown to be true. What people really need to focus on is the reason children contribute to so much destruction and that is that we have no natural predators. Human beings are so successful at surviving that our own youth are designed on a genetic level to curb our population and destroy us when we become too populous. We call this the Abzu Effect."
Abzu is a Mesopotamian patriarch deity who, according to myth, spawned the original pantheon of Mesopotamian gods after copulating with the first goddess, Tiamat. After his offspring became too rambunctious for him to bear, he became intent on destroying them but was overcome by their combined strength.
"Sex does not feel good in order to inspire us to breed and thus promulgate the species. It feels good so that, at least briefly, we forget how terrible having children is and end up making more. We are designed to make children almost by accident and generally against our better judgment. These children then directly and indirectly cause mass suffering. Such a source of strife would naturally be a target of violence, but most people's brains are hardwired to release massive amounts of endorphins at the sight of a child's face thus endearing them to their relatives in spite of how awful they are. At the moment a parent would, quite rationally, desire to mercilessly throttle their child until they expired, they instead find them to be the most lovable creature in all the world. They cannot fully despise them. No matter how much vomit, feces, and temper tantrums are thrown at them. That's when it really gets bad. That rage is like energy. It cannot just dissipate. It has to be released or change forms."
At that critical point, the love of one's own child overwhelms the parent and causes them to self expire. They pick up a bottle and start drinking, work longer hours, fight with their spouse, engage in risk taking behavior, and so on. Parents are designed to destroy themselves so that their child can replace them. According to Dr. Helios, human beings are naturally built with a form of self destructive population control. And, those who do not have children or who are not effected by their children in such a fashion are done in by the social damage done by children at large. It is a self contained form of population control. But, this alleged means of controlling mankind is not without its hitches.
"The biggest problem today is from culture supporting unabated procreation and medicine keeping everyone alive longer than naturally possible. There is not the regular release from the suffering of child rearing as one finds in nature."
Dr. Helios' research is under serious scrutiny within her community of researchers, but, as of yet, no one has been able to make a scientifically based claim against it. Most opponents, when asked to give their reason why they disagree give a somewhat glassy eyed statement revolving around their own love for their children. The rest of the respondents either cough fitfully or complain about the state of the economy.