Do you ever notice who pressures you into having children? It's people who already have children. These people are pretty convincing, so I think most people buy what they're selling. But I also feel like most people don't have the moral fortitude to say, look, let us contemplate an alternative possibility that you are suffering from a potent cocktail of cognitive dissonance and Stockholm syndrome. Your captor, a one-year-old, has caused you so much grief that your only response is to say nothing in the world has more worth to you.

Parents themselves will admit it is true: once you have a child, you are beholden to it, your social life is cremated; there is no way out. Yet, these same people say they “love” these noise-making, finance-draining, poop-spewing individuals—and I quote— “more than anything.” To claim unconditional allegiance to a thing that once caused you great pain, fear and sleeplessness is the same psychological phenomenon as the transparent point of fraternity hazing and gang initiations.

The process to join the club was so excruciatingly painful that you’d rather tell yourself the pain was well worth it than admit that this decision was poor judgment of colossal proportions. So it goes with parents who make shit up to overcome their regret. Like what a joy it is. Like how life before children was effectively meaningless. Like how when their four-year-old wonders aloud where the moon goes during the day, true meaning is breathed into every fiber of their being. Puh-leaze.

We childless shouldn’t fall for it. And I’ll take it further: We should condemn parents for their promotion of parenthood. Not only are they biased and wrong, but they are also doing the world a strong disservice. If there’s one thing the planet can’t support, it’s more people who live privileged first-world lives of excess like I know you do. We, as a species, need to stop producing them.