Goats provide numerous benefits to humans, including food (milk, meat, cheese), fiber and skin for clothing, control of brush and weeds, companionship as pets, and symbols in religion, folklore, and mythology. In ancient times, goat hide was also used for storage of water and wine, and was the most common material to produce parchment for writing in Europe. The fact that goats prefer different food than sheep and cattle, which are primarily grazers while goats are browsers, allows the sharing of pastureland, with goats consuming what are weeds, sometimes poisionous weeds, with respect to the diet of cattle or sheep. Historically, goats have also been kept with flocks of sheep to help defend the sheep.
Such attributes reflect the fact that goats not only seek their own survival, multiplication, and maintenance, but that they also serve a purpose in their wider associations, and in particular a value to humans.
The domestication of goats also reflects human creativity.
On the other hand, poor management of goats has led to overgrazing of land, contributing to the expansion of deserts over large areas of Asia, Europe, and Africa.