The severely wounded animal refuses to eat, yet its wound heals. Great quantities of blood are sent to the site of the wound. This represents a great quantity of food taken to the part. The blood is the distributing agent in all higher forms of life. The fasting animal draws upon its reserves of food materials out of which to repair its torn, cut or broken tissues. These are first autolyzed and then carried to the part of the body where they are needed. The body can not only distribute its nutritive supplies; it can also re-distribute them. It possesses the ability to shift its chemicals and fasting supplies many examples of this. Autolysis makes re-distribution possible.

The ability to re-distribute substances and supplies is common to all forms of life. This ability is an ever-present protection against injury, except under the most prolonged deprivation. The digestion and re-organization of parts seen in worms and other animals, when deprived of food, the digestion and re-distribution of reserves, surpluses and non-vital tissues, as seen in all animals, when forced to go without food, constitute, for the writer, some of the most marvellous phenomena in the whole realm of biology.