Having run a sanctuary for chickens, turkeys, ducks, guinea fowl and a peacock for 30 years, I regard farmed animal sanctuaries as vitally important for the animals, the caregivers and the public, who otherwise have little or no way of meeting and learning about chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs, goats and other animals deemed "agricultural." There are few or no ways outside a sanctuary for mainstream people to experience farmed animals in a context of human love, care and respect for them as opposed to, say, a petting zoo, where a whole other atmosphere prevails. Where else are people going to see farmed animals being happy? Between the food store and the animal farm, a false and demeaning rhetoric of agribusiness and advertising intervenes, and it is almost exclusively through sanctuaries such as Safe Haven that visitors and readers of a book like The Emotional Lives of Animals and Children have a chance to perceive farmed animals appreciatively.
At the same time, a farmed animal sanctuary is an artificial environment whose refugees have come from more or less traumatic backgrounds and who, unlike their counterparts in nature, are not busy raising families and engaging in the daily activities that occupy and energize animals in the natural world, which for them is not the "wild," but their home. I don't know how much we can ultimately learn about human nature or how to repair the broken bonds between adult humans and other animals from a farmed animal sanctuary, but it is possible we can learn and do a lot, especially with the many internet sites and Facebook pages for sanctuaries that are now available and the videos being made of rescued farmed animals (Bill Crain has created some lovely ones), even if we can't physically visit sanctuary locations.