An award-winning author has incurred the wrath of animal lovers and vegetarians after posting photographs on social media of a rabbit she trapped, skinned and cooked.

Jeanette Winterson, famed for her novel Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, shocked some of her 32,800 Twitter followers by saying: "The skin which includes the head makes a great glove puppet".

Winterson posted a photo of the cleaned rabbit - along with its skin and head - on a chopping board next to a cooker, saying: "Rabbit ate my parsley. I am eating the rabbit."

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She later told her followers how she cooked it in cider with rosemary and thyme, and posted images of the rabbit ready for the pot.

Other photos included those of her cat eating the rabbit's innards.

Winterson, a keen food lover who has written on the subject and opened her own organic food shop, praised the nature of her dish, saying: "No waste no packaging no processing no food miles."

But her posts drew criticism from some, apparently sickened at her "cruelty".

Jacqueline Looker tweeted: "i unfollow u,u make me sick. I will never again. read a word u write. Rest in peace little rabbit."

She added: "u said the rabbit ate ur parsley so u killed it. R u so poor that u have to eat a rabbit in a cruel trap? Then to post it?"

Winterson replied: "Do you only read vegetarians? If not, why is farmed meat fine but personally trapped game disgusting? Think about it."

She also countered her critics by telling them she had trapped the rabbit in a cage next to her parsley bed and killed it humanely, adding: "For all the Tweeters who said my cat would prefer Whiskers (where do u think pet food comes from BTW?)."

Some were unmoved by her arguments.

Arthur Japin tweeted: "How your cat and you have disappointed me @Wintersonworld ! At least the cat has an excuse. If you have to kill, why brag about it all day?"

Yoyo Wan said: "You are sickening! I despise you for praising yourself and feeling proud for killing the poor rabbit", while fellow Twitter user Elaine Harry wrote: "Please consider not eating meat. No matter how humane or 'eco' the death, animals are still souls without a voice."

But others defended Winterson's series of culinary posts and praised her skills.

Sian Carter tweeted: "I'm a veggie but I'd rather see you & your 'handling' of that rabbit than the massed farmed animals that aren't appreciated", while Geoff Ryman added: "a career as a celebrity chef looms!".

Gary Barker saw the lighter side of things, tweeting: "Oh no Bugs! Old Elmer got you in the end eh?", while DBanksy wrote: "homage to Beatrix Potter not going as publisher hoped".

And John Westwood tweeted: "Women being stoned to death in Lahore, girls being raped and hung in Uttar Pradesh and ppl upset about @Wintersonworld skinning a rabbit!"