I was brought up an SDA, albeit not in California.
I can assure you that vegetarianism is, indeed, encouraged, but SDAs are not 'strict' vegetarians.
Moreover, the communities are not quite so 'tight-knit'. In fact, it is considered a duty of SDAs to 'spread the word' so they engage in some quiet (definitely not evangelical) proselytising. SDAs are not Amish.
The non-eating of meat is taught as something preferable, indeed, desirable; but it is not an article of faith. Pork is, however, forbidden according to the books of: Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, I Timothy, Acts, Romans & Mark.
I am not a practising SDA now. I regard religion with distrust; but I do respect their ethical & moral codes.