Ratite Product Alternatives

Ostriches and emus are farmed around the world for their flesh, skin, feathers, and oil. This short article will explore some of the available alternatives to each of these products!

Meat

Aside from taste, many consumers eat meat for protein. Luckily for us, there are so many alternatives, which means we do not have to support the cruelty for any of these reasons. Most food bloggers say that ostrich and emu meat taste like beef, so if you’re someone who eats meat for taste, check out our vegan ‘beef’ recipes! We’ve also put together a list of some vegan, ‘chicken’, ‘pork’, ‘lamb’, ‘seafood’, ‘egg’, ‘duck’, and ‘turkey’ recipes. 

If you’d prefer whole-foods, try some of these delicious protein-rich meals or add some of nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes to your daily diet. 

vegan nutrients

Oil 

Both ostrich and emu oil is used in cosmetics and therapeutic treatments, such as body wash, soap, creams, hair products, deodorants, and pet products. Emu oil is also consumed to treat joint and muscle pain, arthritis, rheumatism, inflammatory bowel disease, skin irritations, and burns. For cosmetic and therapeutic uses, try Greemu, a vegan alternative to emu and ostrich oil!

The reason emu oil is used for anti-inflammation is due to its high fatty acid content and omegas. You can get both of these from vegan alternatives, like hemp seed oil capsules, hemp seed oilor with vegan omega tablets, which can help with brain function, joints, heart health, immunity, and skin.*

*Please note, we are not health professionals, and if you would like professional advice, please reach out and we can put you in contact with someone!

Skin/leather

Ostrich and emu skin is processed in a tannery and turned into leather for bags, belts, wallets, and shoes. Thankfully, entrepreneurs from all over the globe are experimenting with different plant-based materials. Desserto, by Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez use leather from cacti, Pinatex, by Dr Carmen Hijosa, transforms pineapple leaves, while other inspiring innovators use leaves, apples, cork, mushrooms, soybeans, recycled paper, and of course, recycled plastic. 

When shopping online, simply search for “vegan leather” or “faux leather”. Some of the leading brands are Matt and Nat, Thamon, Kinds of Grace, and Sans Beast. Excitingly, we can expect to see more ethical brands using these materials to replace animal-skin products in the near future.

leaf leather vegan
Thamon leaf leather bag

Feathers

Ostrich and emu feathers are used by the fashion industry, as well as for cleaning tools and ornaments. Feathers are one of the hardest elements to find alternatives for, due to their unique nature. Sadly, many of these products are considered “eco-friendly”, as they would otherwise be discarded by the meat industry. Thankfully, companies are working on 3D printing them! Until they are release, you could try to make your own, with this beautiful cotton feather guide.

vegan feathers
Cotton feathers by Crafts Junction.